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While some estimates of medical tourism have been quite high, suggesting in some cases that millions of people travel for medical purposes, a study released by consulting firm McKinsey & Company finds the number to be much lower, just 60,000 to 85,000 people worldwide each year.

Health policy analysts have questioned the study’s assumptions, however, and even the lower numbers show the search for quality health care has become an international quest.
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A new report by the Washington-based National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation suggests approximately one in four Americans who have no health coverage–nearly 12 million people, half of whom are children–are eligible for public insurance programs but are not enrolled.

The report, “Understanding the Uninsured: Tailoring Policy Solutions for Different Subpopulations,” suggests several possible reasons people don’t enroll in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), Medicaid, or similar programs. Those reasons include a lack of awareness about available coverage, the programs’ existence, or how to enroll; difficulty remaining enrolled; and fear of being publicly stigmatized by participation.
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