INSURANCES AND MEDICAL TOURISM: TAKE STOCK OF THE SITUATION

Most health insurances policies covering foreign countries are created to cover any extra costs coming from possible accidents or illnesses, but they don’t include planned surgery and aftercare.

Even fewer are insurances covering treatments not directly linked to patient’s health like, for example, not essential cosmetic or dental surgery.

Moreover, most companies don’t cover the whole world, but only selected geographic areas, tipically in their home country.

Because of high costs, proper international coverage is provided only by a few companies, mainly focused on a wealthy target, owners of homes in different countries or frequent travelers for business or tourism.

All considered, today private health insurances are mostly made for travel and not for health tourism, as well explained by Ian Youngman in his survey on IMTJ. 

Anyway there are some companies which decide to provide dedicated Medical Tourism policies, offering benefits in terms of discounts  through agreements with private clinics that could lead the client to save over 50%.

Which kind of develop  can we expect from the insurance market?

It seems that developing new policies dedicated to Medical Tourism isn?t a priority for companies in the short term.  A game changing development could be the growing globalization of the healthcare market and the opportunities offered by accessing lower cost treatments without compromising on quality. In this respect, broadening the base of clinics to guarantee access beyond national borders could be the next evolutional leap in this market.

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