A lack of insurance is leading more Americans to have weight loss surgery in Mexico

A lack of insurance is leading more Americans to have weight loss surgery in Mexico

For as long as she could remember, Tatum Hosea made the same birthday wish: “I just wanted to be skinny,” she said.

She tried a series of workout plans and diets, developing bulimia in a bid to achieve her goal. Still, the thinness Hosea desired eluded her, and her weight ultimately crept up to more than 300 pounds. She decided last year that a medical intervention would be the only way to win her lifelong weight loss battle. Friends and family members had tried bariatric surgery , and she decided to look into the procedure as well.

“I definitely needed help,” Hosea said. “I would never be satisfied after eating. I would just binge all day long.”

So the stay-at-home mom from Salt Lake City attended a seminar on weight loss surgery presented by a local doctor. When Hosea contacted her insurance company, however, she discovered that bariatric surgery wasn’t covered. Since weight loss surgery without coverage can cost more than $20,000 in the United States, Hosea decided to make other arrangements. She would have the surgery; she would simply travel to Mexico to do so.

The 28-year-old is part of a growing trend. Although the exact number of Americans who leave the US for health care is unknown, medical tourism is rising in popularity. The research paper “ Medical Tourists: Incoming and Outgoing ,” published in the American Journal of Medicine in July , estimated that 1.4 million Americans sought health care in foreign countries in 2017 and predicted that number will […]