It was the most spectacular view I have ever seen. One entire wall of the room opened onto a direct view of the Arenal volcano, framed by the lushest vegetation imaginable. I gasped in delight when I saw the hot tub on the terrace, and I’d never seen anything like my shower: A rock wall with plants in the crevices and water pouring out from a basin at the top. And this was just my hotel room!
My recent trip to Costa Rica was an amazing experience. And to think it only happened because I needed expensive dental work, and that traveling to Costa Rica for it actually paid for most of my vacation.
Let me explain…
In recent years, dental costs have risen faster than inflation. And since only 55% of U.S. residents have dental insurance, that means half of us are paying cash out-of-pocket for dental work. Even if you have insurance, you are probably paying 50% of your costs when you factor in deductibles and co-pays.
Make that 100% if you go over the usual annual allowance of $1,200. So if you need a significant amount of dental work done, the answer could be treatment out of the country, where costs run about 30% to 50% of U.S. prices. In my case, I lost my dental insurance along with my job in the recent recession, and I needed over $2,000 in dental work. Solution: I went online to check out my overseas options.
And no, you won’t be taken to a jungle hut to be treated by a medicine man.
The care is modern and often exceeds standards in the U.S. Since I live in the Midwest, in Ohio, I decided on Costa Rica, as it’s only one time zone over from me. And being just a few hours south of Florida, it’s easy to get there. I sent inquiries to several medical tourism businesses and researched all the doctors and accommodation they offered.
Then it was decision time. I could either go to my home-town dentist, just 10 minutes from my house, and spend $2,100 in a few hours—or I could get the same work done in Costa Rica and have a 10-day vacation for about $2,600…just $500 more…with everything arranged for me. The way I looked at it, it added up to travel money I didn’t know I had!
The total cost for the dental work in Costa Rica was $730. Just over 35% of the total price at my dentist back in Ohio. Plus, the facilities were spotless and the X-ray technology was more modern than what I’ve seen in the States.
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