3 Interesting Facts About Healthcare and Insurance Around the World

It’s fascinating to learn about different approaches to healthcare.

 (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
People have much in common wherever you go in the world. We might speak different languages, but we all need to exercise, stay hydrated and get enough sleep in order to stay healthy. And, sooner or later, we all require healthcare.

It’s fascinating to see how people in different countries approach the critically important task of implementing healthcare systems and health insurance policies. Let’s take a look at 3 interesting facts about healthcare and health insurance around the world:

1. Israel Maintains One of the Top Healthcare Systems in the World

Israel’s citizens enjoy one of the finest available universal healthcare systems. Participation in the public healthcare system is mandatory for citizens, who pay taxes to cover the expenses. This system provides a broad range of necessary health products and services including medications, hospitalization, birthing, primary care and more. Israeli consumers additionally have the opportunity to enroll in supplemental health insurance through their public health funds.

 A private healthcare system also exists in Israel. It thrives in part because there are many non-citizens who spend substantial amounts of time in the country; these people frequently split their time between Israel and one or more other countries. When they need healthcare, the private system is available to them. The private system is also favored by some Israelis who do not want to wait for care through the public system.

2. Australia Also Has Coexisting Public and Private Healthcare Systems

Australia’s public Medicare system is world-renowned for being outstanding. Yet, historically, nearly half of all Australians have chosen to take part in private health funds, which means paying out of pocket for private health insurance.

This puzzling situation comes about, in part, because of tax and financial advantages made available to the public by the Australian government. These incentives are intended to motivate affluent Australian consumers to make use of the private system rather than the public system. This assists with ensuring that the public system will not become overburdened and will remain a viable option.

There’s a helpful website you can use for better understanding the private health funds that are in operation in Australia. The Compare Health Insurance Online website empowers consumers to easily compare the benefits made available through private health funds in Australia.

3. In the United States, Health Insurance Covers Some Surprising Expenses

Unlike Israel and Australia, the United States healthcare system is mostly private, although the government does have extensive involvement in the healthcare system. In the USA, most consumers pay for private health insurance to fund their healthcare. 

Private health insurance typically covers a portion of the usual expenses like medications and visits to the doctor; however, some insurers make a surprising variety of little-known benefits available. 

In the United States, Medicare and some insurers will sometimes cover senior citizens’ mattress purchases. However, there are strict limitations on the mattresses that are covered; insurers won’t necessarily pay for things like everyday memory foam mattresses or mattress toppers. To be able to claim for a mattress through health insurance or Medicare, the mattress must typically meet the legal criteria for being “durable medical equipment”. The mattresses that usually qualify tend to be specially designed, medical grade pressure-reducing mattresses.

Interestingly, in the USA there might also be instances where hot tubs could qualify as durable medical equipment. This would most likely only be applicable if your doctor agrees that you have an injury requiring hot tub therapy.

Other surprising items that could potentially, in some circumstances, be covered include massage therapy for accident victims; prescription baby formulas; and diapers for a child with a disability such as Down’s Syndrome. If you’d benefit from having access to any of these items, it’s worth checking whether your policy actually covers them.

These are 3 interesting facts to be aware of regarding healthcare and insurance around the world. Wherever you go, health insurance tends to be a worthwhile purchase, as it ensures you will be able to maximize your options for obtaining whatever care you might happen to need.