Do I need medical insurance to travel abroad? Most likely, an American will not even have such a question - the inhabitants of the country with the most expensive medicine in the world are accustomed to the fact that all problems are solved by insurance since childhood. What is medical insurance in the US - consider in this article.
US health insurance: how does it work?
The organization of the health care system in the United States differs significantly from that in most countries. It is dominated not by the state, but by private medicine, and private insurance, which until recently was, moreover, voluntary. This meant that the person could not pay for insurance, but was forced to pay in full for any medical services, which is very expensive. Therefore, on a voluntary basis, private health insurance covered more than 80% of the population at the end of the last century. For the most part, an employer pays for a medical insurance policy in the United States. With a tax of approximately 15% of the income that the entire working population pays, a state social insurance program is provided for unprotected segments of the population.
In 2010, the ex-President Barack Obama introduced the new law - ACA (AffordableCareAct), according to which every legal resident of the country must enter into an agreement with an insurance company or pay a fine. In this way, the state programs Medicare and Medicaid (Medicaid) have received more funding - at their expense, the poor, people with disabilities, the unemployed, people over 65 or those who have lost their ability to work can count on medical care.
The cost of health insurance in the United States depends on many factors: the type of insurance, the level of income, the state of health, age. The older a person is, the more chronic or genetic diseases he has, bad habits - the greater will be the monthly payment for the policy. On average, it costs 200-600 dollars per month for a “middle class” person, of whom the majority in the States.
But do not think that insurance in the United States allows you to use any medical services for free. Depending on the type and cost of the policy, an American has to apply only to those institutions that accept its insurance, although coverage with popular insurers is very decent. But the recourse to “its” network of clinics does not guarantee free maintenance. As a rule, part of the cost remains mandatory for the patient. In general, medical insurance in the United States is more like a guarantee of protection against "excessive spending" that may be necessary in case of a serious illness or surgery.
Interestingly, the traditional exceptions from most insurance programs in the States are "eyes" and "teeth": to receive the services of an ophthalmologist and a dentist, you must enter into a separate insurance contract.
Travel Insurance in the USA
Living in America are accustomed to trusting their doctors, who, in turn, provide them with the highest quality services. No wonder medicine in the United States is considered one of the most advanced on the planet, and people often travel to the country for the purposes of so-called medical tourism. Insurance companies clearly control all the services provided by doctors to patients, in particular, therefore, they do not recognize many “unconventional” treatment methods so popular in Ukraine. This includes all sorts of dietary supplements, droppers with vitamins and saline, herbal medicine, hypnosis, acupuncture, and the like. Our compatriot could have been surprised a lot when he learned that half of the popular drugs prescribed by Ukrainian doctors are not generally considered medicinal products in the United States and are not used.
The cost of medicine in the States is so high that only the richest people can afford life without insurance, but they also prefer to have a good policy. In addition, there is not accepted to buy drugs at a pharmacy without a doctor's prescription - they simply will not be sold without a prescription. Such a conservative approach to health issues fosters a responsible approach among doctors, and among the population - discipline and lack of self-treatment.
Going on a trip abroad, an American is more likely to purchase travel insurance. There are several reasons:
- First, Medicare and Medicaid programs do not work outside the United States.
- Secondly, the internal insurance will not include the entire list of services that the traveler may need. Some programs allow you to reimburse the cost of medical services abroad, but this is not always convenient since the tourist will have to keep on hand a large amount of money "just in case."
- Thirdly, almost every American is accustomed to filling out various electronic forms of policies and documents, which is not associated with additional stress - on the contrary, in a state with a rule of law and protected document circulation, a person has a psychological calm and a sense of security.
To buy travel insurance in the United States, you must contact any reliable private insurance company. Experts recommend that American tourists purchase a policy that necessarily includes the cost of medical evacuation and repatriation, as well as having insurance coverage of $ 100,000 for the whole world.