Medical Tourism for Expats and Retirees in Latin America

Medical costs and healthcare are undeniably high in countries like the United States.  And now there’s the turmoil of the changing insurance system through Obamacare that is leaving many people frustrated.  If you’re one of these people, then it might be time to look into medical tourism, whether you plan on permanently leaving the States or not.

Teresa (age 58) had recently been paying out of pocket for her health insurance since she was working two part-time jobs that didn’t provide benefits.  She had hardly collected against her insurance at all her entire life but she had always been told that it’s better to be safe than sorry, so she continued to maintain it.

She had recently gone to Ecuador to visit her daughter who was living there on next to no money every month.  Shortly after she returned, she began to have chest tension and chronic fatigue.  After going to the doctor, she learned that she was going to need a double bypass.  Of course, when she consulted with her insurance, she learned that they weren’t going to cover the procedure because she was a smoker.  The price tag: Over $140,000.

She remembered that her daughter had mentioned how inexpensive and good the healthcare in Cuenca was and decided to do some research.  After contacting several doctors and doing her due diligence, Teresa was able to schedule the surgery in Ecuador, for a fraction of the price: Only $12,000.

Expats and retirees abroad are already reaping the rewards of foreign healthcare systems all over the world.  However, even for them, some procedures can be cheaper in another country.  If you need to have a large procedure done, but don’t want to pay outrageous prices, these Latin American countries can provide you with the services you need without sacrificing quality.

  • Ecuador – Particularly in Cuenca, a typical medical procedure will only cost a tenth of what it would in the United States.
  • Costa Rica – Its popularity is well earned.  Here you can expect to pay about half of what you normally would, and with virtually no waiting list for surgeries.
  • Panama – The Clinica Hospital in San Fernando, Centro Medico Paitilla in Panama City, and Hospital Punta Pacifica are all world class medical centers found here.
  • Mexico – If you plan on returning to the States, you can’t beat the proximity of Mexico.  Angeles Health is one of the top hospitals in all of North America.

As an expat or medical tourist, you really can have it all:  your health and a beautiful destination.  When making decisions for your healthcare, you can’t afford not to look into medical tourism in Latin America.

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