Medical Travel FAQ´s

Medical Travel FAQ´s
What is Medical Travel?

Medical Travel is the process of traveling to another country to obtain certain medical procedures. This fast moving global trend has become a great alternative for patients looking for value and quality healthcare services abroad.

Why is Medical Travel so economically viable in Costa Rica?

Main reasons are due to the fact that wages are lower and infrastructure costs are less. Also insurance and administrative costs do not take up much of the healthcare budget compared to countries such as the United States.

What services does Health Tourism Costa Rica include?

Basically our services include coordination of plastic surgery or cosmetic dentistry services in conjunction with required travel. You may also request a customized program according to your needs.

Does the prices you publish include all medical, hospitalization and recovery fees?

Yes they do. Contrary to the vast majority of international medical facilitators in the market which only mention applicable surgeon or dentist fees to promote their services, Health Tourism Costa Rica publish and provides upfront rate information, including all necessary services involved for a successful treatment & recovery in our country and with no hidden fees for your peace of mind and safety.

What internationally recognized standards do posted medical facilities meet?

Most of our posted medical facilities clearly identified for your selection are internationally recognized through their accreditation either through the Joint Commission International (JCI) , the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) or the American Association For Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities Inc. (AAAASF) thus allowing for them to meet the highest international benchmarks. These accreditations assure patients that the hospital meets United States nationally-recognized standards of health care thus guaranteeing delivery of quality care to patients.

How do I know the medical facilities and doctors are any good?

Although medical facilities and doctors are fully accredited with local and international recognition, Health Tourism Costa Rica will provide you with the necessary profile and up to date information for you to make a well informed and educated choice of services. Hospitals, Clinics and/or dentists and plastic surgeons profiles include not only basic information or curriculums but also relevant information such as equipment, wound infection rates, nurse to patient ratio, and complaint history for medical facilities and/or dentists and plastic surgeons. Also, all dentists and plastic surgeons on our network are board certified and international members to The American Society for Aesthetics Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), the European Society of Aesthetic Surgery (ESAS) the American Dental Association (ADA), the International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (IAOMS) or the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (AAOMS) .

Is there a liability insurance for the medical facilities, plastic surgeons or dentists?

Medical practitioners carry by law in Costa Rica liability insurance for patient protection and coverage from malpractice, negligence, accidents or errors. You are able to sue but the law suit would be governed by the laws of the country.

Are there established mechanisms for resolving eventual conflicts related to services?

Medical travel patients have access to resolve eventual conflicts and/or disputes not only through the regular Judicial System in Costa Rica but also through the Center for Alternative Disputes Resolution for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Costa Rica (RAC) in a completely confidential, independent and impartial manner. The arbitration process is supported by law arbitration (solved according to legislation) and equity arbitration (according to equity, prudence and conscience) both with sentence character. This dispute resolution alternative provides a more agile and expeditious process, sustainable solutions built by the parties in dispute and less expensive and/or emotional for parties involved.

How can I correspond with my selected surgeon or dentist in Costa Rica?

Health Tourism Costa Rica will coordinate and establish a direct and secure communication via email with your selected surgeon, dentist and case manager through our patient portal. If required we will also coordinate your chosen physician to speak with you over the phone.

Does my primary care physician have to know about this?

Definitely yes. In all cases we are open to provide all details of the medical care facility you selected, credentials, surgeon background and other important information associated with services and selected procedure for his review.

Can I travel alone to perform my selected treatment in Costa Rica?

You can travel alone to perform any of our featured treatments in Costa Rica, although we encourage you to travel with a companion, especially for treatments in which there is an extended recovery time in the country.

What type of support is available before, during and after the treatment?

Health Tourism Costa Rica will not only guide you through the full process to coordinate your procedure but also one of our personal concierges will assist you during your entire stay in Costa Rica. Nursing support during and after treatment both at the selected hospital and recovery hotel are fully certified for your safety and peace of mind. We may even coordinate for nursing support and follow-up of your case through our care givers network once you return to your country.

Will language be a barrier to communicate at any stage?

Definitely No. All of Health Tourism Costa Rica administrative staff, your selected plastic surgeon or dentist and nurses at the hospital and after care facilities are fluent in English.

How do I pay the costs of treatments and travel expenses?

Once all terms are agreed with one of our case managers and your selected plastic surgeon or dentist, we would require a deposit of $300 per person in order to secure services. Balance for land only travel services is due 45 days prior to departure plus a 25% deposit for medical treatment fees.

Payment on the balance due for your medical treatment is done directly to your selected medical facility and/or doctor during your initial consultation once in Costa Rica.

Please familiarize with our Planning & Arrangements guidelines as well as with our Terms and Conditions for details.

Is my surgery or treatment program price guaranteed?

Health Tourism Costa Rica will provide you a preliminary quote for your selected program and/or services. This price will be firm once your selected plastic surgeon or dentist evaluates your medical records prior to travel. Once the doctor examines the patient personally in Costa Rica, agreed treatment and applicable prices might change only in such cases in which important medical information was not mentioned or withheld by the patient or due to unforeseen risk conditions on patient health at the time of treatment and not disclosed prior to arrival. Please familiarize with our Terms & Conditions for details.

Please note that allocated stay in Costa Rica for all programs is based on regular healing conditions. This could vary depending on your physical condition and body response to the treatment performed. Please consider flexible dates and additional hotel expenses in case you may need to extend your stay in Costa Rica for a few days. In such cases, we fully assist you on coordination and will provide you a fully discounted fee for additional hotel nights you may require. Fully discounted fees do not apply for complications due to your refusal or negligence to follow your plastic surgeon or dentist advice and/or instructions for recovery.

What if I cancel?

If you cancel your reservation, your right for a refund is limited. The following administrative fees will apply in addition to any land only travel services supplier fees or penalties. $150 per person, 45 days or more prior to travel date or $300 per person, within 44 days of travel date.

In the event you cancel due to a last minute change of mind in Costa Rica or the doctor refuses to perform the surgery for any medical reason not previously disclosed, a $300 administrative fee will apply and you will be entitled to a refund for unused land only travel services plus the selected medical treatment procedure deposit. Please familiarize with our Terms & Conditions for details.

Will my medical insurance pay for surgery?

Usually elective surgery will not qualify unless it is eligible due to health reasons. Although please have in mind that only a few medical insurers will cover services provided outside their own healthcare network or country of origin. We encourage you to contact your health insurance rep for additional information.

What about Travel and Medical Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance is recommended.

Please note that regular travel insurance may not provide you a comprehensive protection for both travel and medical treatments complications or malpractice. Specialized travel insurance products are available to cover you both on travel services and elective medical treatments abroad.

Insurance plans such as Bordercross Worldwide by Seven Corners includes not only trip cancellation coverage but also medical coverage for acute illness and injuries related to medical travel including plastic surgery or cosmetic dentistry. (Restrictions may apply)

Are surgery and/or travel expenses tax deductible?

Usually elective surgery and related travel expense will not qualify unless it is eligible due to health reasons. We encourage for you to seek for advice through a tax accountant in order to get expert advice on these matters or visit IRS Publication 502 for additional information.

Do I need a passport and/or visa?

United States and Canadian citizens will only require to present valid passports that will not expire for at least thirty days after arrival. Visa is not necessary. For additional information for other countries please visit the Costa Rica Embassy web site or Contact Us .

How long is the flight to Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is in close proximity to the United States and Canada compared to other medical tourism destinations in the world. Travel time is usually anywhere between 3 to 7 hours according to origin within continental United States or Canada. For additional information please visit our Air Travel information.

Is there a cultural impact when visiting Costa Rica?

Costa Rica culture is family oriented and its people are warm and friendly. Also, western culture influence is strong as opposed to other medical tourism destinations that offer a culture full of extremes. You will receive a warm and friendly welcome not only by the people involved in your treatment but also from all other locals.

What is the food like?

Costa Rican cuisine is a combination of Spanish, Mexican, American and Southern American influences. Even though Costa Rican food is great, plenty of western choices and international dishes are available at all locations.

Will I have time for vacation?

Yes and no. Please consider that primary concern during your stay in Costa Rica should be your health and outcome from your treatment procedure. In certain cases many of our medical tourism patients which experience minor surgery procedures enjoys the opportunity to extend their stay and discover this unspoiled tropical paradise; while others may opt to arrive few days earlier to relax previous to their plastic surgery or cosmetic dentistry procedure.

For either option you may choose we will be happy to assist you with the best possible options to suit your needs and in accordance to your plastic surgeon or dentist recommendation. Please visit our Vacation Alternatives for additional information.

Will there be any aftercare support once I return?

We will not only assist you on coordinating transfer of all required medical records related to your procedure in Costa Rica either to you or your primary care physician but also your Patient Advisor and Costa Rican plastic surgeon or dentist will be in contact and within easy access for follow up and to answer any question in order to assure a prompt and satisfactory recovery. In certain cases we also coordinate for nursing support and follow-up of your case through our care givers network once you return to your country.

What if I don''t find the procedure that I am interested in on your website?

If you are not able to find the information related to the treatment and/or procedure you are interested in, please visit our page Other Procedures which list other services available not included in our programs or do not hesitate to Contact Us in order to provide you additional options available which may not be listed in our website.