Using Your Health Savings Account to Pay for International Travelÿ

Thousands of U.S. citizens are taking benefit of the low value and excessive nice of foreign hospitals via touring abroad for medical treatment. The financial savings are frequently 75 percent or more, and the complete price of cure can also even be payable with tax-free cash from a Health Savings Account.

Medical tourism first started out to get popular in the 1990’s, when humans began traveling in large numbers to Brazil for cosmetic surgery. But as prices have persevered to rise, heaps of Americans have been traveling distant places for actual clinical conditions, such as knee replacements, by-pass operations, heart valve replacements, and different serious issues. Many nations are seeing clinical tourism as a appropriate way to carry in foreign money.

In many instances the excellent of medicinal drug available overseas is equal to the pinnacle hospitals in the U.S. Patients are displaying up at locations like the Apollo Hospital in Hyderabad, India, part of a 36-hospital chain founded by using a heart specialist from Massachusetts General. A coronary heart valve substitute might also price $50,000 to $100,000 in the U.S., and only $12,000 in India, together with travel costs.

Escorts Heart Institute and Research Center, in Delhi, India, is any other popular clinical traveler destination. It was once based by means of Dr. Naresh Trehan, an authority on robotic cardiac surgical treatment formerly primarily based at New York University.

Blue Cross Blue Shield has just announced that they will pay for remedy at Bumrungrad International Hospital, in Bangkok, Thailand for folks from South Carolina. Over 80,000 Americans received treatment there final year. The sanatorium boasts that over 200 of its medical doctors are board-certified in the U.S, and will function a knee alternative operation for 20 percent of what it would fee in the U.S.

Who Does This? Dodie Gilmore is a 60 year-old rodeo barrel-racing champ from Oklahoma. She runs a one hundred eighty acre ranch, however ought to no longer trip a horse due to the fact she needed a hip replacement. Her fitness insurance plan plan had an exclusion that would not cover her operation, and she genuinely did not experience like paying the $35,000 it would cost her. Instead she and her accomplice flew to India where she had the surgical operation at the Max Institute of Orthopedics and Joint Replacement.

Her medical doctor used to be Dr. S.K.S. Marya, who averages one American hip-replacement affected person each week. Dodie’s whole coast, such as travel, was once solely $11,000. She even managed to take in a tour of the Taj Mahal.

Forty to Sixty percentage of those surveyed say they would reflect onconsideration on surgical operation overseas if it should retailer them $5,000 or more. Going out of the U.S. (perhaps even simply to Mexico), may want to be a worthwhile strategy if you have an exclusionary waiver on your policy, if you’ll be having non-compulsory surgical treatment not covered by your health insurance plan policy, or if you have a high deductible plan.

What is the Risk? According to the Institute of Medicine, over 100,000 unintended deaths happen in hospitals each year. And it is right here in the U.S. Hospitals are a risky area to be, and you choose to spend as little of your lifestyles in one as possible. So there are risks everywhere, and in all likelihood larger dangers outside the U.S.

But the magic of the free-market does give you some protection. There is a lot of cash flowing to nations and international hospitals that practice extraordinary medicine. If a medical institution does now not supply excellent service, you can wager its customers will go elsewhere, especially if they are choosing among anywhere in the world.

The influx of foreign sufferers (and money) is engaging more western-trained doctors to return home, so the options are absolutely increasing, and the first-class and costs continue to improve. I agree with that if you use care in deciding on your company and structuring your treatment, the dangers are no increased than having surgical operation right here in the U.S.

How to Research Your Options Keep in thought that most health insurance plans nevertheless will not cowl for therapy backyard the U.S., specially if you are traveling specifically to acquire medical care. So take a look at with your insurer if the value of the therapy is going to exceed your deductible.

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations certifies hospitals right here in the U.S. Their international division, Joint Commission International, certifies hospitals for the duration of the relaxation of the world. Make positive the facility that you are considering has been certified by means of them.

Then test out your doctor. Confirm that he or she is English speaking, and was skilled in the U.S., U.K., Australia, or Germany.

Finally, consider hiring a marketing consultant to assist you select the fine health center and physician for your needs. A top provider will no longer solely set up the treatment, but can additionally prepare all travel plans, meet you at the airport, and act as your liaison while you are being treated.

If you spend money from your Health Savings Account to pay for international clinical care, the amount you withdraw is tax-free. Health Savings Account guidelines additionally enable you to cover the value of your journey if the cause you are traveling to get scientific care is no longer “for merely non-public reasons.”

When deciding on how to control your health, you ought to carefully think about all your options. International journey is a awesome alternative for people with Health Savings Accounts.

By Wiley Long – President, HSA for America (–savings– – The nation’s leading unbiased health insurance plan firm specializing in person and household coverage that works with a Health Savings Account.

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