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Due to high medical costs, in part related to the high cost of medical malpractice insurance, Alaskans are being lured overseas by the low costs of medical tourism.

Chuck Klemer, of the Denali area, flew to Thailand with his wife Dulce Havill to receive a hip replacement. They have no health insurance. The operation in the United States would have cost around $40,000. The cost for the trip to Thailand, the surgery, and weeks long recovery combined with a vacation was $14,000.

Medical Malpractice insurance can cost one doctor up to $100,000 a year in the U.S., driving up their prices to patients. With a low exchange rate and doctors not needing to carry such high policies in Thailand, prices for medical procedures are much lower. And may patients report that the hospitals and care there is much nicer than anything they have received in the U.S.

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