Less well known, however, is the flow of sick people in the opposite direction. Every year, so many Americans leave the country for treatment overseas that entire companies have sprung up to accommodate them. Why? Because even with travel costs included, it's cheaper than getting treatment here. A hip replacement in India costs less than $10,000, including airfare, as opposed to the $30,000 it costs in the US. A heart bypass surgery is approximately $110,000 cheaper if you have it done in Turkey. And $110,000 is almost enough to buy a whole computer. I think. I'm not very good with money.
Anyway, this "medical tourism" is now so common that some company health plans have started including an overseas treatment option for their employees, both to save themselves money and because it's easier to have a worker return to work healthy and with a tan rather than showing up sobbing over the $5,000 copay they now owe.
Via ABC News
If the other options on this list haven't worked out for you, you might have no choice but to take your chances asking for charity from strangers on the Internet. Sure, this option seems easier than going to jail or joining the Army, but this is the Internet we are talking about.
"This guy wrote 'less expenses' instead of 'fewer expenses' in his plea for money. I'm going to tell him he deserves his testicular cancer."
For an example of how stressful dealing with Internet-sourced charity can be, take Luis Lang, an uninsured man from South Carolina who recently appealed for money on the crowdfunding site GoFundMe after discovering that his diabetes was about to cause him to go blind. The plea caught the attention of the media after it was discovered that Lang was a Republican who had expressed sentiments against the Affordable Care Act. After that, his page quickly took off. Multiple ACA-supporting internet denizens decided that the "saying awful things relating to healthcare" category had been dominated too much by the conservative side lately, and decided to chip with in their own thoughts:
Hear that? You held a different opinion than these people, and now you're going blind! Hahahaha.
Luckily, not everyone is terrible, and Mr. Lang has now almost reached his funding goal, with donations largely coming from liberals who don't want to be associated with the other liberals on the site making fun of an almost-blind dude. But many other funding attempts that aren't receiving attention from political commentators are still out there: "Medical, Illness & Healing" is GoFundMe's most popular category. Keep in mind, we're not talking only about people with no health insurance -- many of those money pleas are from people with supposedly good insurance who simply can't afford their plan's copays and deductibles. So, uh, try not to get sick.
C. Coville has a Twitter here and a funny book on sale here.
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