Can Medicaid take care of your social security

Health insurance companies in the USA and Germany - differences and similarities (part 1)

Most of the media in Germany maliciously comment on the actions of US President Donald Trump in the first 100 days of his term in office. This also applies to the attempted backward rowing with the health insurance introduced by the predecessor Barack Obama for (almost) everyone, called Obamacare for short. "That jumped too short," warns Thomas Adolph from the leading comparison portal www.gesetzlichekrankenkassen.de. “Instead, we recommend a more detailed look at the health system in the United States.” This is helpful “in order to understand the advantages of our health insurance structures and accurately assess their challenges.” Because many services that are taken for granted in this country, such as sick pay, extensive preventive measures or accompanying care for the disabled in the family have only recently become part of the standard program in the land of unlimited possibilities.

Ruinous medical expenses
Predominantly organized in the private sector

Fundamental differences exist in the type of insurance: In the USA in 2014 (when most of the changes through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) = Obamacare) came into force, 65.5 percent of the population were privately insured, 57.4 percent of them through the employer. Only a third use aid programs such as Medicaid (20.6%), which was set up in 1965 for seniors aged 65 and over - or Medicare for the socially disadvantaged (2.6%), which is also largely tax-financed. This construction results from the "belief principles" of US economic life, which include individual performance, private-sector competition and strong reservations against state intervention, as can be read in the book "What is wrong with the Americans".

As the German health insurance expert Thomas Adolph notes, the level of coverage is by no means comparable to the scope of our health insurance system. Medical treatment costs have been the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States for a decade. At times, even two thirds of private bankruptcies can be traced back to it, as a Harvard study has shown. The problem of over-indebtedness affects both the insured and the uninsured, because it was only since 2014, when the more stringent rules of the Affordable Care Act (ACA = Obamacare) came into force, that insurers are no longer allowed to use absolute or annual performance limits per patient. Previously, insured persons had to pay all treatment costs in excess of an agreed US dollar amount themselves.

Book: "What's wrong with the Americans?" (On Amazon)

Details on ACA (Obamacare) by Ann-Kathrin Klemm (Techniker KK) (Source: Nomos)

Detailed figures on the US healthcare market (Source: State Center of Disease Control and Prevention CDC)

Payment problems and bankruptcies for insured persons (Source: New York Times)


Health insurance companies in the USA and Germany - differences and similarities (Part 2)

Back to the overview of all current reports

On our website you will find among other things:

  • Detailed information on the benefits of the statutory health insurance companies in Germany
  • Statutory health insurance contribution rates?
  • Overviews of additional contributions and bonus payments
  • Special services from the statutory health insurance companies that go beyond the statutory minimum

Find out more independently!

Author: Media team of Kassensuche GmbH