Cancun, Q.R. – Medical tourism is expected to increase this year as Americans continue to seek alternatives.
The Association of Medical Tourism head, Servando Acuna Braun, says the state is anticipating a 10 percent increase this year. The announcement comes after meetings with American companies who say they will promote the state’s medical services. In particular, knee and hip surgeries are expected to become the new market in medical tourism. Other areas such as dental care, plastic surgery and bypass surgeries are also high on the list.
One reason for the anticipated market increase is the mere 12.7 million Americans that are covered by Obamacare. While many cannot afford or do not qualify for the plan, procedures such as weight-loss surgeries, plastic surgeries, fertility treatments and alternative medicines are generally not covered.
This has generated a spike in people seeking treatment outside the US since the cost of treatments in Mexico can be as much as 80 percent less than in the United States. Now, medical tourism attracts between 10,000 and 15,000 patients per year to Mexico, a figure that is expected to increase into 2017.
According to medicaltourism.com, 64 percent of patients that travel for health care did not have health insurance. Of those that travel abroad, almost 85% of US patients found they received more personalized medical care than in the US.
Nearly 80 percent of the demand for medical travel is driven by cost savings. According to 2013 Nerd Wallet Health data from the U.S. Census, Centers for Disease Control, 56 million Americans under age 65 will have trouble paying medical bills and, despite having year-round insurance coverage, 10 million insured Americans ages 19-64 will face bills they are unable to pay.