Medical Tourism
   Or… how to enjoy a free trip to Ecuador 
Our first trip to the Andes included Quito and Cuenca in June 2010. We fell in love with Cuenca’s charming people, old world architecture and gentle climate. We had learned to reimburse our travel costs during previous trips to Montevideo, Uruguay. Bloggers were also a prolific source of information.
Like many self employed folks we saved premiums by having a $5,000 deductible on our U S Blue Cross coverage and using a HSA for tax deductible reimbursements. So we were out-of-pocket on most medical, dental and vision expenses. Now let’s see how many interesting experiments we can complete in a few days.
                                              Ecuador Cost          USA approx.        
 1 .Vision exams-both of us           $20 x 2 = $40                          $  150 
2. Bi-focal lenses –Gary only                          54                               150
3. Specialist office visit                  $ 25 x 2 = 50                               400
4. Bone density Scan-GE                   40 x 2 = 80  Just like at home  240
5. Ultra Sound – neck                                      36                              150
6. Lab CBC, calcium, parathyroid, Vit D         52     All is well          200+
7. Meds                                              11 x 2 = 22                                80
8. Massage – ahhh                            15 X 2 = 30   Discount for 2     130
9. Manicure (why not?)                      5 x 2 = 10                                 30
10.Haircut – Gary (a risk?)                               5    Looks great!         15
                Totals                $ 329  Saving covers airfare  $1,545  

We met some very interesting and friendly locals.  And delighted in many delicioso meals. 

 And we learned of their culture. Yes, you could enjoy similar savings in many countries in Latin America or Asia.
       Don’t just be a tourist… Be medical (and cultural) tourist!     
                                                                            Rejoicing,   Gary
                    

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