|WellPoint Introduces International Medical Tourism Pilot Program
WellPoint Inc. launched a new international
medical tourism pilot program that will allow members to access
benefits for certain common elective procedures at designated
facilities in India.
WellPoint’s affiliated health plan in
Wisconsin piloted the program with Serigraph Inc., a
Wisconsin-based global provider of printed decorating solutions.
Under the pilot program, Serigraph members planning to
undergo certain procedures can enjoy access to an extended network of
respected hospitals and healthcare providers in India. By electing to
use the international benefit, members can receive care at accredited
facilities at lower out-of-pocket costs for common non-emergency
procedures that could result in thousands of dollars in total savings.
The pilot program includes coverage of certain common
non-emergency procedures such as major joint replacement, upper and
lower back fusion and other procedures that have significant cost
differences between domestic and international providers.
"WellPoint is committed to finding innovative solutions
to our nation’s healthcare challenges and we continually evaluate
new concepts. More and more employer clients have been asking about
access to foreign providers as a means of reducing their claim
expenditures," said Dr. Sam Nussbaum, chief medical officer for
WellPoint. "Medical tourism is a promising option for improving access
to affordable, quality healthcare. This program’s innovative plan
design empowers members to be more involved in the care they receive
and we are pleased to work with Serigraph."
Members who choose to access this international option
will have a dedicated case manager who will coordinate all medical
arrangements, including scheduling and concierge travel service. All
travel arrangements will be booked and paid for, for both the member
and a travel companion. The case manager will also help make
arrangements for any necessary post-operative care upon the
member’s return to the United States.
All hospitals within the international program are
accredited by the Joint Commission International, whose accreditation
standards are based on international consensus standards and set
uniform, achievable expectations for structures, processes and outcomes
for hospitals. The program also complies with American Medical
Association (AMA) guidelines for medical tourism.
Addresses: WellPoint Inc., 120 Monument Circle, Indianapolis, IN 46204; (317) 562-6000, www.wellpoint.com. serigraph Inc., 3801East Decorah Rd., West Bend, WI 53095; (262) 335-7200, www.serigraph.com.