Consumer and market study for GPS medical travel/tourism insurance


As the medical travel/tourism industry continues to grow, Global Protective Solutions (GPS) sees emerging trends that affect the industry stakeholders. In an effort to promote awareness and share industry trends, they have addressed some key questions. The summary below is a compilation of data for GPS medical travellers/tourists over the past 3 years.

Country of origin of traveler/tourist:

Canada - 37%, Australia and New Zealand - 31%, United States - 13%, Europe - 6%, All other - 13%

Country where care is received:

Thailand - 57%, India - 30%, Mexico - 8%, Other - 5%

Average premiums:

The average premium for insured patients is $315.00 with the lowest premium of $72.00 and the highest being $1892.00.

Claim activity:

Claims have varied in type. The most frequent claim has been from a thrombosis or blood clot. There has been one death claim as a result of an unknown pre-existing condition that was aggravated as a direct result of the procedure.

There have been several re-admits back to the receiving facility for minor symptoms with no acute complications. There have been no claims for a complication that has occurred upon return of the patient to their home country. This is important to note because all of these claims resulted in additional medical expenses in the receiving country and by the receiving hospital. This has included payments under 3 categories of coverage; additional travel expenses, family coordination and additional medical or surgical treatment.

Stakeholder liability mitigation:

Stakeholders, such as receiving hospitals or facilitators, have been relieved to find out that coverage was afforded in the event of a complication or claim.

• The hospital was able to guarantee payment recovery from the patient because the patient had insurance to cover the costs associated with the complication

• Hospitals and facilitators were pleased that the patient had recourse for reimbursement of unforeseen expenses which added to the overall experience of the patient or their surviving relative and kept a potentially unfortunate circumstance from becoming litigious.

Consumer cost tolerance:

It is also important to note here that all of the patients we have seen travelling for care have been for several reasons.

• To have a procedure that is not available in their home country

• To save money on the procedure

- The average cost of procedures has been between $10,000 -$12,000 US Dollars

- The percentage of this cost associated with GPS insurance premium on average has been about 3%

- With this cost savings, the premium for GPS has been insignificant to the medical tourist/traveler.

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Why treatment abroad could be right for you

- Costs/NHS funding
- Choosing a clinic or surgeon
- What if something goes wrong?

Additional information

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