Putting off that dental implant or knee surgery because you simply can’t afford it? If so, you’re not alone. According to the National Association of Dental Plans, 126 million Americans lack dental coverage, and for those who do have a dental plan, the quality and economics of coverage are not always optimal. Likewise with medical insurance. According to the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey 2014, 31 million Americans – or 23 percent of 19- to 64-year-old adults who are insured all year – had such high out-of-pocket costs or deductibles relative to their incomes that they were considered “underinsured.”
With exorbitant co-pays and cost sharing expenses for lifesaving or pain relieving procedures, and no coverage at all for many dental, weight reduction, fertility, or cosmetic treatments, it’s no wonder that the biggest cause of bankruptcy in our country is medical expenses.
But American consumers do have more affordable options available to them, if they’re willing to shop around for medical care – even across borders, said Josef Woodman, author of Patients Beyond Borders, a comprehensive guide to world-class medical tourism. In 2015, more than one million U.S. citizens packed their bags and headed overseas to countries like Brazil, India, Mexico, Turkey, and Hungary to realize a 25 to 90 percent cost savings on a myriad of treatments and procedures, including dentistry, cosmetic surgery, heart and orthopedic operations, weight reduction, and fertility treatments, to name just a few. And this number is only expected to grow, said Woodman.