American health system: how it works

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Lluis Enric Mayans

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The US health care system is very complex and at the center of political battles within the US government. Currently the system consists of a public and a private part.

There are two treatment programs supported by taxpayers, therefore part of the public system: the Medicate or the health program envisaged for citizens over the age of 65 and the disabled of all ages and the Medicaid instead deputy to the assistance of the less well-off, who therefore do not reach a certain income.

As for the private system, on the other hand, we talk about health insurances negotiated for the most part with the employer, who deducts the quotas directly from the salary.

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However, a large part of the population is excluded from such an organization, for example those who, despite having an average income, cannot afford to pay the annual premium of private insurance, such as young couples or immigrants, or are unemployed or who they are unable to establish the relationship through the employer because they often change profession, or they are young people between 18 and 24 who do not yet have a sufficient income but not even the coverage guaranteed for children. It is clear that health coverage in the US is closely linked to one's professional situation and the income of the population.

However, President Obama has obtained the approval of some major reforms of the health system. Among the most obvious: the prohibition on insurance companies to terminate the contract just when the patient falls ill, the prohibition of refusing to insure a child considering his previous illnesses, illegal the maximum spending limits presented by the insurance companies to refuse reimbursements due to sick people being treated for serious and very expensive diseases. Children up to 26 years will be included in the parents' insurance, precisely in consideration of the difficulty, up to that age to enter the world of work in a stable manner.

In the next few years it is also planned to expand the range of the population admitted to the Medicaid program.

For the travelers visiting the USA, it is advisable to take out an insurance policy, because in the face of high efficiency there are high costs for American health care, also guaranteeing the plane for repatriation or transfer to another country.

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