70% of Americans say the U.S. health-care system is in a state of disaster or that it has many problems. Germany found a way to give total health care coverage while maintaining a competing insurance market that offers citizens more options.
In 2017, U.S. health care spending came to about $10,200 U.S. dollars per capita. In Germany, It was limited to under $6,000. Overall, Germany paid about 11.2 percent of its GDP on health care, while the U.S. paid 17.1 percent. Germany manages to cover 100 percent of its residents. In the United States, about 8.8 percent of the population lives uninsured. That comes to about 28 million people with also more people underinsured. Despite spending less, Germany has more reliable or similar health outcomes than the United States.
Studies reveal that in Germany, there were fewer deaths that could have been prevented with decent access to care. In 2013, there were 83 avoidable losses out of every 100,000 people in Germany, while the United States held 112. Life expectancy in Germany is 2.5 years longer than the United States, and the infant mortality rate is lower in Germany, with 3.3 deaths per 1,000 live births as opposed to 5.8 deaths in the United States. Additionally, the maternal mortality rate in the United States is more than 2 times greater than in Germany.
In Germany, health insurance is compulsory for all citizens and permanent residents. There are two separate systems that residents can turn to for insurance. SHI, which means statutory health insurance and PHI or private health insurance. German citizens are suitable for PHI if they make more than roughly 60,000 U.S. dollars per year or if they are self-employed. Citizens earning under that threshold must pay into S.H.I. – S.H.I is made up of a network of competing, not for profit individual health insurance funds known as sickness funds. In S.H.I., receivers are covered free of charge and costs are capped around 840 euros per month. Even though S.H.I sickness funds are not government agencies, many Germans believe of them as part of a public system because of heavy regulations.
As of 2019, there are about 100 legal health insurance companies, but there used to be many more. When Germany’s system was first founded in the late 1800s, sickness funds were linked to a person’s job. It used to be that people were assigned to a specific sickness fund based on their job or area. Now Germans can choose where they join and they can change funds on a yearly basis. As a result, sickness funds begin marketing themselves in order to engage customers and attract new ones.
As of 2017, roughly 87 percent of Germans receive their basic coverage through S.H.I. and 11 percent of the population by P.H.I. The remaining population, such as soldiers, police officers, and refugees get health insurance through specific government programs.
Every healthcare system is not perfect, but the German healthcare system consists of many things that the American healthcare system can learn from. The end goal should not be to make money out of sick people, it should be to treat everyone the best way possible.