A couple of surveys reached the news desk here at Benefits Selling – compelling information, which prompted this column, but raised more questions about the potential for this growing industry.

The Medical Tourism Association released a survey late last month on the future for medical tourism post health care reform. No surprise – as most insurers and employers believe reform measures will inevitably drive up health care costs – the results tout potential for growth. The MTA reports that waiving pre-existing condition clauses and making insurance premiums equal for healthy and sick people will drive health insurance costs up dramatically, making employers and insurers more interested in offering medical tourism as an option to keep costs down.

"Seventy-one percent of insurance companies and employers felt health care reform was extremely positive for the medical tourism industry and more Americans would travel overseas under the new law. Employers and insurance companies know that health care reform will increase costs and medical tourism is one of the few ways to lower those costs," says Jonathan Edelheit, CEO of the Medical Tourism Association.

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