Many of these "medical tourists" take advantage of loopholes in the health care system, such as not paying for Medicare or Medicaid, or using a private insurance plan which doesn't cover the full cost of medical care. Unlike with the "medical tourism" of "consulting" or "medical tourism", it's not legal to pay for a private insurance plan which doesn't cover a full cost of medical treatment. In accordance with the Affordable Care Act, the federal government requires private health insurance plans to cover a minimum of a specified percentage of the full cost of medical care. If an insurance plan doesn't cover that portion, it will have to pay a premium. If you're a tourist, it's not uncommon for an insurance plan that does not cover the full cost of medical treatment to be more expensive than a public plan with a higher deductible. The current trend in Thailand is that many medical tourists choose to travel to Thailand for care in the absence of adequate healthcare in neighboring countries, which is why the high number of medical tourists could be seen as a sign of the health care system in Thailand, at least to some degree. Contrary to what may be expected, there is no evidence that medical tourism is being subsidized by the government.
A study conducted by the Bangkok Medical Society found that, in the absence of a subsidy, medical tourism costs are roughly 50% higher than those incurred in Thailand by medical tourists. Prices and the process of obtaining medical care In a typical medical tourism scenario, a Thai patient pays about $25 for a consultation taking place at the hospital, and the flight to Thailand is about $150, which includes the cost of transportation to the clinic, a hotel and meal costs, transportation to the clinic, a doctor's consultation, a taxi ride and the cost of the medicine. As a result of the increasing popularity of medical tourism, a growing number of U.S. hospitals and clinics have begun to require patients to have either a prescription for a narcotic medication or a physician's prescription to buy the medicine. This requirement, known as a "prescription for diversion", is intended to discourage patients from using prescription drugs.
Further complicating the issue of whether patients on medical tourism are actually getting their medicine from a legitimate medical facility or are selling it is often a difficult question to answer. Why Medical Tourism Is Illegal Even if it is legal under the laws of the country in which the patient is living – to "medical tourism" means that the patient is taking the medicine from a location where it is illegal. Furthermore, there are many states in the United States, which are particularly strict in their drug laws, which do not allow for medical tourism.