60% of medical tourism patients travel for dental care

Many people who chose to travel outside of the U.S. for medical treatments do so for dental care, according to a survey released Jan. 29 from eHealth.

In October 2019, eHealth collected survey responses from 1,860 people who purchased Medicare plans or individual and family plans that are complaint with the ACA.

Twenty-one percent of respondents indicated that they would travel internationally for medical care. Of the patients who have already traveled for medical reasons, 60 percent did so for dental care. When asked why they were inclined to travel, 74 percent cited lower costs for dental care.

"Dental insurance is often overlooked by consumers shopping for health coverage, but according to some estimates the cost of dental care has increased 90 percent since the year 2000," said Seth Teich, senior vice president and general manager for individual and family plans at eHealth. "Our survey results shed light on Americans' willingness to travel for affordable dental care, but they also illustrate the importance of getting the right dental insurance for your needs and understanding how that coverage works."

Below is a breakdown of the kind of care patients have received internationally:

• Dental care: 60 percent
• Medically necessary surgery: 22 percent
• Vision care: 20 percent
• Elective or cosmetic surgery: 18 percent
• Chronic disease treatment: 15 percent
• Acute disease treatment: 13 percent

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