The number of Americans travelling abroad for medical treatment is predicted to rise over the coming years.
Patients Beyond Borders estimates that over half a million people travelled abroad for treatment in 2010. They predict an increase of 15-20 percent per year as the baby boomer generation ages, with lower costs abroad as the main motivator.
“I would tend to say that 80 percent or more, of the people using medical tourism are baby boomers,” Rajesh Rao, CEO of IndUSHealth, a medical travel program provider, told the Huffington Post. “I would say the bulk of utilization happens with baby boomers just because they’re at an age where they need more intervention.”
A survey conducted by Patients Beyond Borders reported that in 2011 you could pay $88,000 for a coronary artery bypass graft in the US or $9,500 in India. For a hip replacement in Mexico, it’s $12,500 instead of $33,000 on average in the US.
The top ten destinations for medical tourism are Brazil, Costa Rica, India, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey. Medical tourism numbers are increasing in Puerto Rico, China and the UAE.
In India, treatments are on average 65-90% cheaper than at home. Treatment costs are 55-75% lower in Malaysia and Thailand compared to the US.