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Economics & Investments

Overseas Employees Need Access to Quality Health Care

Economics & Investments
One population often overlooked when discussing Medical Tourism is employees of a company located in another country. For example many US Citizens Canadian and European citizens work in Latin America and Asia. Quite often these employees and employers have no idea which hospital they should go to for surgery or in the event of an emergency. In many cases the Employer is utilizing a medical assistance company to air evacuate the employee back to their home country where the cost of medical treatment could be as high as 90% more plus high cost of emergency medical evacuation.

Would these employers evacuate their employees if they knew there was world class healthcare available in that country at a predesignated hospital? Would the employee go back home or choose to get care at a local hospital?As our world shifts to a Global Marketplace more and more Employers are opening up overseas offices in developing countries like India Thailand and countries in Latin America.

These same countries are emerging as leaders in world class health care.Normally when an American goes overseas and spends more than 90 days most US health insurance plans will cease. The employer either needs to find an international health plan or in some cases the employer actually self funds (pays 100%) for any medical expenses that occur while the employee is overseas.

One way for employers to limit their exposure to large medical expenses and emergency evacuation is to become educated about the high quality of care overseas. Generally it is the employers responsibility to make sure the employee has access to a high level of quality care. Moreover it may be difficult for employees to obtain information on foreign hospitals or to establish which hospitals are the best.

Employers need to establish a practice of educating themselves about finding high quality international hospitals and doctors and then provide this information to their employees before they head overseas.Medical Tourism Companies and hospitals may find a very lucrative marketplace in associating themselves with foreign employers who have foreign employees working in their country.

Jonathan Edelheit is President of the Medical Tourism Association with a long history in thehealthcare industry providing third party administration services for fully insuredself-funded and mini-medical plans to large employers groups.

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