Associate Arts Editor
In Japan, the average premium is $280 per month. Co-payments cost 30% of the procedure. This co-pay covers surgeries, dental and mental health services. According to Japanese law, all citizens are obligated to have health insurance. They can obtain insurance through their employers, a community based plan, or purchase it from nonprofit organizations. When co-payments increase, people visit the doctor less, but this is just a short-term effect. If patients can not afford the payments, there is public aid made available to them from the government.
Japan has been known for having the best health statistics. Many experts believe that their lifestyle and the type of diet many Japanese follow play a role in this. Having access to any physician or specialist in their country plays a large role in their longevity as well. Since 80% of hospitals are private, the Ministry of Health in Japan helps negotiate with physicians to keep costs down.
However many physicians are concerned that Japan spends too little on healthcare. In order to have the latest equipment and medicine, more money is needed.
Insurance companies are not permitted to make a profit on basic health services. They are also barred from discriminating against patients with chronic illnesses. These insurance companies make their money on the services provided. In terms of the cost of medication, the government sets the prices.
However many worry that the Swiss healthcare system is too expensive. Their medication prices are higher than other countries across Europe. To balance costs, the Swiss government provides their citizens with discounts.
Why doesn’t the U.S. have a universal health care system? Japan and Switzerland are both capitalistic nations with universal health care systems, so what is keeping the U.S. from having one as well? Many health experts believe that the U.S. spends too much on our health care system and its citizens do not enjoy some of the same benefits Japanese and Swiss citizens do.