Dental Editorial: Dental Vacation Insurance Can't Really Protect You

Dental Vacation Insurance Can’t Really Protect You

Insurance policy for dental touristsI’ve written before about the allure of dental tourism – the fact is, foreign dentists can have prices so low that even the most conservative dental patient can easily be tempted to leave the country. The risk, of course, is shoddy treatment.

Now one insurance company is offering UK residents “mishap insurance” should anything go wrong on their medical or dental vacation.

The managing director of the specialist travel insurer behind the Free Spirit Travel for Treatment program acknowledged, “It has taken me some time to persuade underwriters to do it. It looks pretty onerous.” (AXA Insurance UK is underwriting it.)

“Free Spirit Travel for Treatment provides cover for complications occurring whilst abroad at least 48 hours and up to 31 days after treatment… It is available to UK nationals up to age 74.”

Well, I can see why AXA wouldn’t be eager to offer this sort of insurance, but the time limit should protect them reasonably well. It’s emergency coverage only, really, and the policy says it doesn’t cover any expenses incurred within patient’s home country.

The long and short of it is — no one will truly insure you against the long-term risks of getting sub-par dental work in a foreign country.

The policy covers a variety of elective medical procedures, mostly cosmetic, including the following:

  • Belly button surgery
  • Calf implant
  • Laser hair removal
  • Liposuction
  • Semi-permanent make-up
  • Fertility treatment

In terms of dentistry, here’s what the policy will cover:

On a related note: our most recent survey asked dentists about their fee for a dental implant and crown. I thought it was a typo when one oral surgeon said he charges $500 for the dental implant and $500 for the crown, but no – just another example of low foreign prices. “I’m working in India, and hence even these charges are high for round here!” he explained.

Just a thought… at the rate the dollar is losing value against foreign currencies, I imagine the Brits and even third world patients in need will be coming to the US in droves for low-cost dental care by the end of 2010.

Visit the Free Spirit Travel for Treatment website

About Jim Du Molin

+Jim Du Molin is a leading Internet marketing expert for dentists in North America. He has helped hundreds of doctors make more money in their practices using his proven Internet marketing techniques.

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