General Question

christine215's avatar

Hypothetical question regarding healthcare (in the U.S and abroad)

Asked by christine215 (3163points) July 14th, 2009

Say you’re newly employed and have had a lapse in medical insurance…and an “existing condition”

Your new insurance denies claims for say a hip replacement (or insert any other type of surgery here)

Would you consider going to Europe for healthcare?

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8 Answers

Harp's avatar

Absolutely. I’ve had excellent experiences with French hospitals, and even if I weren’t covered by the national healthcare plan, it would still be a whole bunch cheaper than similar surgery here. I’d also look at India and Thailand; many Americans go there for reasonably priced, high-quality surgery.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Go to France. Their health care system is pretty damn good. In fact when the WHO last rated national health care systems France came out on top. The UK (where I am) is definitely getting better although it depends where in the country you are. For dental stuff eastern Europe is the place to go for high class affordable care.

cwilbur's avatar

One of the things about group health plans, as I understand them, is that they aren’t supposed to consider preexisting conditions. So I’d read the fine print, if I was in that situation, and consider hiring a lawyer.

But if it was surgery I needed, and I would save money by going to Europe, I’d do it.

kevbo's avatar

If you google “medical tourism,” you will find a lot of info. From what I’ve read for smaller/developing countries you can get a much higher standard of care (e.g. multiple nurses looking after you and resort quality rehab facilities), but the downside is having to rely on a foreign legal system if things go wrong. Usually the docs at these facilities are US educated and trained or similar.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

as mention before france is a great option. My cousin needed reconstructive surgery on his shoulder and he couldn’t get it in the states. When to france and had the whole process done there, including rehab, which he said was top notch as well.

ubersiren's avatar

I’d do what @cwilbur said first, before going to someone else’s country and taking advantage of their welfare system that I’ve never paid into.

galileogirl's avatar

Often with group plans, the employee’s pre-existing condition is not covered for a specific period, usually 1 or 2 years. If a person has been treated for a heart condition as a child, they probably would not be covered if it flared up for that period of time. Employees and wives who are already pregnant may get limited or no coverage for the birth.

One answer to that problem is COBRA. If you leave your job, you can pay your own premium for your old group plan for some months until you qualify at your next job. There are also short term private “bridge” plans that you can buy for 6 mos at a time. The problem with those is that you are covered for 6 mos but if you have a claim, it becomes a pre-existing condition and they won’t cover you if you try to renew it.

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