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The Real Cost of Medical Tourism

By Bloomberg Rankings and Nikhil Hutheesing - 2012-10-24T14:18:10Z

Photograph by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

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Outsourcing Your Health

About 1.6 million Americans will travel overseas this year for medical procedures ranging from facelifts to heart bypass surgeries, according to the Medical Tourism Association -- a number that is expected to rise 35 percent next year. Some go because they don't have coverage in the U.S., or their plans don't cover certain procedures. Others, including celebrities such as Steve Jobs and Farrah Fawcett, traveled abroad to get access to treatments that did not exist in the U.S. Lower costs and high-quality care in other countries can make such trips tempting, though it's never a decision to make lightly. Estimated prices are from the Medical Tourism Association unless otherwise mentioned, and include only the cost of surgery.

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