Health insurance is a type of insurance product that is intended to provide health insurance to the insured if the insured experiences an illness or accident.
Health insurance is offered by insurance companies with a variety of options ranging from coverage of hospitalization costs to outpatient pre- and post-hospital admission.
In some countries, health insurance is a compulsory service for its citizens. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Germany, the United States, and China are increasing their health insurance service to help their citizens who affected by this virus. So, what is the insurance system like in these countries? Let’s check the facts!
Health Insurance in Germany
In Germany, insurance is generally divided into two, namely government-owned insurance (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung; GKV) and private insurance (Private Krankenversicherung; PKV).
For those who are studying in Germany and are under 30 years of age, it is advisable to use a GKV insurance service provider such as TK (Technische Krankenkasse) and AOK (Allegemaine Ostkrankenkasse). TK and AOK insurance are able to pay 100% of the medical bills, if someone happens to be sick. If someone doesn’t know whether he has the virus or not and wants to do a test, the insurance company will pay for this test, if the doctor says it’s necessary.
Currently, the total cost of one such test in Germany is between 200 and 300 euros. Doctors in Germany will test patients according to a referral from the Robert Koch Institute, an official German Institute of Health which is also a research institute responsible for disease control and prevention in Germany.
Health Insurance in the United States
The United States (US) Congress passed new law in March 2020, which stipulates that everyone can take a free COVID-19 test. However, the law does not specify who will bear the costs of the treatment later on.
In the United States, citizens are under no obligation to participate in health insurance. Former US President Barack Obama has tried to reform the health insurance system, so that every American citizen has access to basic health care. The system works if a US citizen who has purchased health insurance, turns out to have to pay more bills.
Currently, Obamacare is no longer in effect, since Trump’s presidency. According to AFP, the US Health Secretary, Alex Azar said on April 3, 2020, that the US government will prepare a fund of $ 100 billion to cover the costs of caring for US citizens who do not have health insurance after they are infected the coronavirus.
Health Insurance in China
According to information released by China’s state health insurance bureau at the end of March 2020, the number of confirmed patients in the new coronavirus outbreak in China was 44,189, the total cost was 752.48 million yuan, and per capita care costs were around 17,000 yuan. The proportion of health insurance payments is around 65%, and the rest is subsidized by the government.
In early March 2020, Fu Jinling (符 金陵), director of the Ministry of Finance’s social security department, said that as of March 2, 2020, the Chinese finance department at all levels had allocated 108.75 billion yuan for prevention and pandemic control. He said that the medical costs of the community were well guaranteed. “People are expected not to worry about medical costs,” he explained.