Healthcare Reform is going to have a very positive effect on medical tourism. Both Deloitte and MTA are in agreement on this exact point. This is because healthcare reform will significantly increase the cost of health insurance in the US, and adding more uninsured will result in longer waiting times and access to care.
Some people are taking what happened with healthcare reform and trying to misrepresent it, as something negative and trying to confuse people into believing that this means US patients will stop leaving the US. But of those people pushing this, it is clear what their motive and agenda is.
They are trying to convince people healthcare reform has some form of comprehensive dental coverage, which is not true. Dental costs in the US are extremely expensive. Dental implants can cost anywhere from $3,000 per tooth to up to $15,000 per tooth, depending on the location in the US.
Dental insurance policies in the US only provide up to $1,000 or $1,500 per year, which means even if you have dental insurance, it won't even cover a fraction of the cost of one dental procedure. Any dental benefits provided under healthcare reform will be very minimal and will only focus on preventative care, such as dental checkups, etc.
There are currently 120 million Americans with no dental insurance, and as mentioned above the several hundred million that do have it, have limited annual coverage. Healthcare reform will have little effect on dental care and dental tourism and Americans leaving the US for dental care will continue to grow significantly.
There is not a declaration in healthcare reform that mentions medical tourism. This is extremely positive for medical tourism because it means there is nothing that restricts insurance companies and employers from implementing medical tourism. Already there has been significant interest in medical tourism from US employers and in the next few months there will be more announcements of employers implementing medical tourism because of group healthcare reform.
Caterpillar along with other large employers such as Deere Inc, have stated that healthcare reform in the first year will cost them $100 million dollars, and several large US employers are already starting to implement plans to reduce the level of healthcare benefits they offer to employees.
Some reports estimate the insurance premiums for younger Americans could rise as much as 70% under healthcare reform. With health insurance costs already extremely expensive in the US, this means that employers and insurers will have little choice but to implement medical tourism as a way of cutting back and reducing healthcare costs.
The Medical Tourism Association