USA vs UK Healthcare Insurance

Healthcare systems cannot be more different when we compare the United States and the United Kingdom. The United States has the largest private-sector system while the United Kingdom has one of the largest public-sector systems. Both systems are highly respected…

USA vs UK Healthcare Insurance

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Healthcare systems cannot be more different when we compare the United States and the United Kingdom. The United States has the largest private-sector system while the United Kingdom has one of the largest public-sector systems. Both systems are highly respected and have world-class health outcomes. But the UK healthcare system otherwise known as the National Health Services (NHS) has way fewer health outcomes variation across its population when compared to the US. If you want to discover the main differences between both systems, make sure that you stick around till the end of this video.
Healthcare in the US is almost exclusive by private sector providers. Hospitals are owned by either for-profit or non-profit organizations. Most of the people in the US have access to healthcare through a blend of private health insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid programs. Medicare is a federal program that provides health coverage if you are 65 years or older no matter what your income is. Medicare also provides coverage for people with disabilities even if they are under 65 years old. Medicaid on the other hand is a state and federal program that provides health coverage if you have a very low income and cannot cover your healthcare costs by yourself. The remaining people who are not covered by private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid, will have to rely on their own financial resources to cover their health and medicine expenses.
The United Kingdom health care system otherwise known as the National Health Services (NHS) is an ideal example of socialized medicine and a single-payer healthcare system. This means that health care is provided by a single-payer which is the British government and is funded by the taxpayers of the United Kingdom. The appointments and treatments are provided for free to patients as are most of the prescription drugs. Well, let’s reemphasize that it’s paid by taxes so it’s not truly free.
But the NHS is not entirely free. There are some services that require patients to pay such as dental and eye care but the fees are comparably low to the US fees. The maximum cost of receiving any drug prescribed by the NHS is $12.
The United Kingdom does allow employers to offer private health insurance plans to workers. Some of these workers decide to opt-out of the NHS and receive their medical treatments privately. It is quite an advantage as private patients choose their specialists, unlike NHS patients. Private patients also avoid waiting lists for non-emergency procedures while NHS patients tend to wait for weeks or even months.
When it comes to accessibility, NHS patients receive their primary care from general practitioners which are referred to as GP’s who act as gatekeepers for secondary care.
When it comes to accessibility based on age, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is otherwise known as NICE consults a citizens council to help it sort through difficult ethical issues such as prioritization of patients based on age which is simply not allowed in the UK. Patients of all ages should receive the same degree of access to the healthcare system.
Now let’s compare the US and UK healthcare systems.

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