Cost of healthcare has gone up faster than wages, giving impetus to insurance companies and employers alike to shine the spotlight of medical tourism on a market that has sparked renewed interest in the possible role of prevention to curb spiraling costs.
Healthcare costs for chronic disease treatments are estimated to account for 75 percent of the nation’s medical bills.14 The expenditures have put a tremendous focus on – for example — the rise of overweight and obese employees and their contributions not only to healthcare spending, but workforce productivity as well.
Medical tourism and its extended offerings should not be perceived as tough a sell for brokers and the insurance companies they represent, but rather an avenue for taking the confusion out of healthcare and putting affordability and quality back in.
Out from throes of a changing nature of illness and the resulting burdens placed on both the nation and business owners, another medical tourism trend has emerged that can hardly be considered a passing fad or niche. Wellness travel is one of the fastest growing trends in medical tourism today, and worth more than US $106 billion, according to a recent estimate by the SRI Group.15
Fed by an aging world population; the failure of conventional medical systems to address cost-effective, prevention-focused alternatives to existing Western models; and the increased globalization of healthcare, wellness consumers across the United States are filling their plates from an assortment of spa treatments around the world.
Insurance companies and brokers would be wise to take these demands seriously as an attractive alternative to reduce the costs of healthcare and the productivity of the employees over the long-term when packaging coverage plans for employers.