About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

US Pushes Insurers to Tie Up With Indian Hospitals

by Medindia Content Team on October 7, 2007 at 12:03 PM
Font : A-A+

US Pushes Insurers to Tie Up With Indian Hospitals

Keen to take advantage of low-cost healthcare in India, the US is pushing its insurance firms to draw up attractive medical tourism packages with Indian hospitals to facilitate travel and treatment for its citizens there.

A few firms have already started offering 30-40 percent discount on their annual health insurance premium for those going to India for treatment. Some are also adding tourism and shopping to their packages and arranging for friends and relatives to stay at nearby affordable hotels.


Indian officials, who were here last week to participate in a series of trade, investment and cultural events, said an increasing number of American insurance companies were keen to tie up with Indian hospitals.

"Many of them are setting up liaison offices in India so that it is easier for them to send their clients for major surgeries in India," said an Indian official.

The issue figured prominently during the first meeting of the Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) of the US-India Trade Policy Forum held in New York last month.

According to Indian Commerce Minister Kamal Nath, the US side was keen to ask its insurance companies to work with hospitals in India. "It will open up a huge opportunity for our country," the minister said.

In fact, some US medical insurance companies like Blue Cross and Blue Shield have already announced schemes for treatment in India.

Giving a cost comparison, officials said while a coronary bypass urgery in the US costs $60,000, it costs a mere $6,600 in India.A single knee replacement costs at least $22,000 in the US, while it is $6,500 in India. A bone marrow transplant is $250,000 in the US, while Indian hospitals do it for $26,000. Rhinoplasty (nose job) costs $10,000 in the US, and just $2,000 in India.

Even the common dental root canal treatment is a prohibitive $1,000 in the US and just $100 in India. The list goes on.

US insurance companies are offering to arrange for appointments with medical specialists, hospital admissions, pickup and drop-off at airport, additional travel and accommodations in India for the patients.

Many here feel that the move would be a "great relief" for Americans, who find health insurance in their country exorbitant.

"The health premiums are becoming unaffordable. Anything related to medical treatment has become hugely expensive here," said Catherine Simon, who works in a hospital here.

Around 60 million people in the US do not have medical insurance. Even those who have it cannot afford the expensive surgical procedures.

"It would be a wonderful idea to go for treatment to India because I think we will get better treatment there. Here we have to pay through our noses for nothing. The doctors charge $300 to $500 for an appointment," an employee of The New York Times told IANS.

"Healthcare costs are skyrocketing in the US and in many western countries.

So, more and more companies, insurance providers and governments will eventually have to think about outsourcing this business, too," she added.

Source: IANS

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Third Party Administrator for Claims and Cashless Health Insurance Critical Care Insurance 

Recommended Reading
Medical Tourism-The Road Ahead
Medical Tourism has become a serious enterprise in India over the last two years. However some ......
India’s Medical Tourism Market to Grow to $2 Bn by 2012
India's medical tourism market is growing by 25 percent annually and is expected to become a $2 ......
Critical Care Insurance
A critical illness policy is exactly what it says – it is used for when you are critically ill and y...
Third Party Administrator for Claims and Cashless Health Insurance
Understanding the role of Third Party Administrator (TPA) in the world of health insurance and how t...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use