Very interesting story in the Guardian concerning the need for travel insurance when travelling to Europe. What raised my eyebrows was this par:
"From an analysis of travel insurance claims, the most expensive country for inpatient treatment is the US, with the average hospital visit costing £6,000 last year, 10% more than in 2008. The next priciest is Thailand at £2,750, followed by the Canary Islands at £2,500. The cheapest country is Bulgaria, with the average visit to hospital costing £500, a 5% increase year on year."
Granted this is perhaps swayed somewhat by the type of medical claims that would be claimed under travel insurance -- eg motorbike accidents etc, but still, found it very surprising.
Full story is here:
I thought the numbers high so I went to the source they quoted, a financial company that sells travel insurance called Saisnburry. Turns out they sponsor tons of studies on health costs. Beyond that I didn't read.
When I checked most major in patient procedures were maybe 25% of US at that famous most expensive hospital in Thailand Bumrungrad. Quadruple bipass, hip replacement, all that stuff. US does have subsidies and discounts based on secret negotiated prices between insurance companies and hospital groups so it's hard to know the real price.
I'd pay any price for evacuation insurance from the US in the event of a major injury.