Healthcare systems around the world vary widely, often according to local social conditions, infrastructures, and economic stability. In such a diverse landscape, health and medical insurance play a significant role in helping people access affordable, personalized, and quality care.
So, whether you are looking to relocate to another country, go on a world trip, or enjoy a family vacation to a far-flung destination, getting appropriate health insurance should be your top priority.
In this guide, you’ll learn how health insurance requirements and standards change around the world. Denmark,
Germany, and Sweden Have World’s Public Health Care Systems:
While healthcare standards vary from country to country, some nations have distinguished themselves for the high levels of care quality and accessibility they offer their residents and visitors.
In particular, according to 2022 rankings by Best Countries, Denmark, Germany, and Sweden top the list of nations with the best public health care systems. Other countries on this list include Canada, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
While you might still prefer to have private health insurance to cover specific medical needs, these countries guarantee residents and visitors high levels of affordable or free medical care.
Students and Expats Can Take Advantage of Global Health Insurance Cover
If you are familiar with the concept of travel insurance, you’ll know that most insurance policies are limited in time and geographical coverage. But what if you are planning a multi-country trip or need to often travel to different places due to your business?
Solutions such as global health coverage might be more expensive, but they can help you enjoy peace of mind when traveling to multiple destinations. What’s more, international health policies for students completing their education abroad can help them with unanticipated medical emergencies.
Americans Spend More Than Any Other Country on Health Insurance
According to recent statistics by the World Economic Forum, the US has the most expensive healthcare system in the world. Today, Americans’ per capita health expenditure stood at a whopping $9,451 in 2017, and it reached $11,945 in 2020.
While these costs are $4,000 more expensive than any other high-income nation, health expenditures in America are only bound to increase as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Health Insurance in the UAE is A Legal Requirement For Expats
Whether you are planning a visit to Dubai or you are looking to permanently relocate to the UAE, you will be responsible for buying and renewing your health insurance policy.
Although the UAE provides free public health insurance to Emiratis, expats and long-term residents need to afford their own policy, which should meet the requirements set by their Emirate of residence. However, if you are planning to relocate for work to Dubai or Abu Dhabi, your employer will be required by law to provide health coverage for you and your family.
When shopping around for affordable health insurance, it’s important to choose a provider who has been accredited by the Insurance Authority UAE and select a policy that will cover at least basic and emergency healthcare services.
Over 31 Million Americans Were Uninsured in 2020
Although policymakers around the world are working hard to provide universal healthcare coverage, not all countries are able to support their citizens with accessible care.
For example, according to statistics by the CDC, nearly 10% of the US population, or over 31.5 million people, were insured in 2020 – a figure that includes 3.7 million children. However, thanks to the implementation of programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, nearly all citizens above 65 have now access to basic healthcare services in the US.
43 Countries Offer Free Healthcare To 90% of Their Citizens
If healthcare accessibility and affordability are important priorities to consider when choosing a country to relocate to, you might look into the nations that provide free healthcare to their citizens.
Today, over 40 countries around the world – including Argentina, Bhutan, and Cuba – are able to offer inexpensive or free healthcare services to their citizens. While not all of these systems are entirely faultless, they have enabled citizens to access the basic and emergency care needed throughout their life. Most of these systems work on a National Insurance or copay system.
Brazil Offers Free and Comprehensive Insurance To Residents and Visitors
Although 25% of Brazilians opt to invest in private health insurance policies to access faster care, Brazil provides a decentralized and universal public health system to all its citizens. The system is founded by tax contributions, and those who opt for private health insurance can claim related expenses as tax deductions.
Free healthcare services in Brazil don’t involve any cost sharing, can be accessed by both visitors and residents, and include primary, outpatient, mental health, and hospital care. Prescription medicines are also included.
Costa Rica is the Country with the Fewest Hospitals per Person
Although insurance providers and policymakers work to make healthcare coverage affordable for all, there are still high levels of inequality affecting the global healthcare landscape.
In particular, some countries suffer from a significant lack of resources, equipment, trained doctors and midwives, and modern infrastructures such as hospitals and clinics. In turn, this is affecting the ability of that nation to manage diseases and provide efficient, affordable, and timely care.
Among those countries, Costa Rica is considered to be the country with the worst healthcare in the world, also due to the fact that the country provides only 8.7 hospitals for every million people.
Healthcare Costs Are Increasing Around the World
As healthcare systems around the world have been put under unprecedented pressure by the Covid-19 pandemic, healthcare costs have been resigning significantly over the past years.
While online insurance platforms and InsurTech tools have made custom policies more accessible, citizens of all ages are now battling premium increases and higher costs (i.e.: deductibles and copays). These expenses are coupled with growing prescription drug prices and the rapid increase in the cost of living.
Universal Health Coverage is Considered To Be a Global Goal by the UN
According to statistics by the World Bank, WHO, and the Kaiser Family Foundation, over 3.5 billion people – which accounts for half of the world population – lack access to essential healthcare services.
Due to this growing healthcare crisis, the UN has made “ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages” one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030.
Although the journey to providing every one of the world’s citizens with accessible and high-quality care is still long, non-profit associations, government programs, policymakers, and insurance companies are working hard to get a step closer to this goal.