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Majority of people traveling internationally for health care received dental treatment, survey shows

Dentist-1437430_1920Twenty-one percent of people enrolled in health insurance are willing to travel internationally for care, while 60 percent of those who have already done it received dental treatment, according a survey released Wednesday by eHealth Inc., an internet health insurance exchange.

“Dental insurance is often overlooked by consumers shopping for health coverage, but according to some estimates the cost of dental care has increased 90% since the year 2000,” said Seth Teich, senior vice president and general manager for individual and family plans at eHealth. “Our survey results shed light on Americans’ willingness to travel for affordable dental care, but they also illustrate the importance of getting the right dental insurance for your needs, and understanding how that coverage works.”

Highlights from eHealth’s survey:

  • 21 percent of respondents are willing to travel internationally for medical care, and 6 percent already have.
  • 60 percent of those who have traveled outside the United States for medical reasons received dental care or treatment, while 22 percent had a medically necessary surgery and 20 percent received vision care.
  • 74 percent of those willing to consider international travel for medical or dental care are enticed by the possibility of lower costs.

“Just like health insurance, there will often be out-of-pocket costs associated with extensive dental procedures,” Teich said. “But when consumers take advantage of the preventive services (such as routine cleanings) that their dental insurance covers, they can help maintain their dental health and potentially avoid thousands of dollars per year in costly treatments.”

eHealth’s findings were compiled from surveys of consumers who purchased Medicare plans or individual and family plans compliant with the Affordable Care Act through eHealth.

Copyright 2020, Rita R. Robison, Consumer and Personal Finance Journalist

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azure

"“But when consumers take advantage of the preventive services (such as routine cleanings) that their dental insurance covers, they can help maintain their dental health and potentially avoid thousands of dollars per year in costly treatment" That's assuming people can afford preventive dental care, which has also increased in price and isn't covered by Medicare. What % of employers in the US provide good quality dental insurance (and pay the entire premium, no large deductible, etc)?

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