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Everyone around the world is aware of the ongoing healthcare crisis in the United States.  While people know some of the statistics, such as almost 50 million Americans have no health insurance, millions more have health insurance that is rapidly becoming unaffordable and yet more millions are under-insured. In recessionary times the solution is clear.

The recently released Kaiser Family Foundation report showed some of the scary facts of where healthcare in the US is headed. The average yearly cost of health insurance for an American family is now $12,680, and for a single person, $4,704.

 Jon Bradshaw , Mrs Inger Marie Larsen, Christine Larsen

In the common event that an employer pays only the employee’s insurance that leaves a $7,976 burden to provide for the family. The news is all bad. What is likely to happen is that people will take skimpier, less comprehensive cover with higher out-of-pocket payments and that retiree health benefits, already declining, will cease to exist before long – right when needed.

As credit cuts bite, some businesses will end up cutting and eliminating health insurance benefits or shifting costs to employees by raising deductibles and coinsurance.  Some may lay off employees, which will in the end significantly increase the number of uninsured people in America.

The $700 billion bailout simply means the healthcare crisis in the US will continue to get worse and there will be no resources for it.  It could have much longer term affects such as speeding up the timeframe of when Medicare may not be able to be funded anymore, or result in cuts in Medicaid benefits.
I believe that 2009 will be the year of Medical Tourism in the United States. With the severe economic crisis and terminally ill health insurance crisis, employers and consumers simply cannot afford to overlook the significant 50% to 90% savings that medical tourism has to offer.   As employers start raising deductibles for health insurance, this simply makes medical tourism incentives much more attractive to patients.


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