Health care is an important part of American society. Since there is no national socialized health care, Americans must find different ways to pay for their care. Luckily there are some systems in place that help the less fortunate cover some costs for normal checkups and emergency procedures, while other health care options require paying deductions in exchange for better coverage. This article will explore different kinds of health care systems.
Universal Health Care
Universal care is when an entire society is covered by some form of health care, regardless of income or status. Funding isn’t always solely from the government; some universal systems allow private contributions to expand health care benefits, while others force employers to contribute. In China, the rural universal health care is paid for by a combination of the country’s government, provincial government and the patients. In the Netherlands, the elderly, terminally ill and long-term mentally ill patients are fully covered through taxation.
The United States does not have universal health care, but it does have Medicare to cover special populations. Medicare is designed to provide health care coverage for qualifying citizens 65 and older. Those under 65 who are disabled and collect Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are also qualified to receive it. Medicare covers limited hospital stays, certain services like X-rays and ambulance transportation and chemotherapy.
Preferred provider organization plans (PPOs) are health care plans that involve users paying for services as they are rendered. Members would enroll through their employer and make contributions to a plan that has a set amount of coverage per person. Contributions are pre-taxed. Whenever a member makes an appointment with a doctor that accepts the plan, the insurance company will pay for the visit at an often agreed-upon reduced price. The insurance company deducts that amount from your coverage allowance. Some plans allow unused amounts to roll over into the next year. Other PPOs also offer discounts on preventive care and other coverage like dental care or eyeglasses.
High-deductible health care plans offer some of the best all-around coverage for health issues. The premiums are typically lower compared with other health care plans. However, as the name implies, using the plan could come with large, out-of-pocket expenses. HDHCPs can be funded by health savings accounts that are tax-free. These accounts are invested in mutual funds that allow them to grow. If these funds are kept for long periods of time with little use, a person could have a substantial amount of health care money when he gets older and is more likely to use it.
Medicaid is another health care system used in the United States. Medicaid is funded by both federal and state governments. It is provided to those who have low income but also fall into other specified categories. For example, someone with low income and a disability such as blindness could qualify for certain medical coverage, while a low-income person with no disabilities may get limited or no Medicaid coverage. See the additional resources below for more specific categorical information.