How Much Does Basic Health Insurance Cost Around The World

Tyler Durden's picture

How does one define most basic health insurance? If one is Deutsche Bank, as follows: "Health insurance annual premium is for a basic policy for a local resident between 25-35 years. Since the definition of a standard package varies between countries, we have tried to stick to an insurance policy which covers inpatient events and no extra covers like dental, etc.... The data has been sourced mainly from local providers of heath insurances, reports of organizations engaged in research of health care and news clippings."

And how much does "most basic health insurance" cost around the world? According to Deutsche Bank the answer, when presented in dollar terms, is as follows:

Clearly what the US, with its highest in the world costs, needs is for the government to step in and really fix the problem.

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Stuck on Zero's picture

Very bad.  The U.S. health system is considered the worst in the industrialized world.



johanngalt's picture

yeah- that's why people flock here when they need serious medical help, because our health system is the absolute worst.  I know I'd much rather die on a gurney in an UK ER than suffer through the USA's terrible medical industry.

Bay of Pigs's picture

I guess you missed the point of the article?

Fuck me, where do idiots like this find their way to ZH?

economics9698's picture

Funny how the industries dominated by the tribe always seem to end up with taxpayer money funneled their way.

Medical care is 85% more than it was from 1929 to 1970. The reason is the feds, state, and locals funnel $1.1 trillion into the industry driving up cost. Same with education.

Same with defense.

Same with the federal government.

Banking creates their own money.

What will happen is the feds will want to take over the medical industry and kill millions and millions of baby boomers, who could not vote for Social Security and Medicare.

The best hope is a dollar collapse and a regime collapse in Washington, new nations, and free medical markets. Most baby boomers have no clue what awaits them if the Washington regime maintains power.

john39's picture

now we get a government mandate requiring that everyone buy a bullshit overpriced product...  isn't freedom wonderful?

knukles's picture

Opie's fixing it, FFS
Back to work, Serfs

Pinto Currency's picture


That chart doesn't include how much people pay for their health care through taxes just the direct premiums paid.

Not meaningful.

remain calm's picture

Can we see the chart that shows the number and cost of medical malpractice in those countries. Really disigeneous not to show the cost of the blood sucking leaches we call lawyers in this country, same class of people as lobbyist.

max2205's picture

Please pee in the cup....

0b1knob's picture

How does health insurance cost ANYTHING in England when everybody is on the National Health system?  And if you are counting the total cost of health care in coutries like England wouldn't you have to include the council taxes people pay to support the system?

TBT or not TBT's picture

Govt healthcare fixes that, because then you have no recourse at all against malpractice.

Matt's picture

Canada spends half as many tax dollars compared to the United States 

($4445 vs $8233) as of 2012:

in addition to the basic insurance costing about one-sixth as much, per the article. 

Here's a nice little comparison chart:

XAU XAG's picture

Funny that we weasterners think we live in the land of the free


Nothing could be further from the truth...............we are robbed right left and centre by our over spending, over paid and over educated masters who have never had to work in the real world.

Ignatius's picture

Anyone who wants to figure out how bad it is just do a back-of-the-envelope calc on General Practitioner medicine.

One GP can handle 1000-2000 patients and typically earns $150-200k.  Factor in an office, equipment, a nurse, nurse assistant, etc.

1500 patients @100/mo ($1200/yr) is $1.8 million gross revenue.

ObamaCare and the American Medical Mafia are killing us while making a killing.

drendebe10's picture

Respectfully, not sure where you come up with your numbers, but primary care physicians make no where near your figures. Primary care physicians I am aware of in my community make more like $90-120K/year and with obamascare created hospital vertical monopolies you can bet your last dollar that the hospital bureaucrats make up to 10x what that primary care physician makes and will be doing everything in their power to drive their salaries down.  Not bad considering a primary care physician goes 4 years to college, 4 years medical school and 3 years internship/residency.  In my community I hear the best physicians (smartest?) after having signed on to these vertical hospital monopolies out of fear of obamascare are now leaving them.... so the hospital monopoly signs of PAs and ARNPs.... so if you go to the ER or admitted to a hospital, you are not seen and cared for by a board certified physician but a PA or ARNP with 2-3 years of schooling... now if you believe an evaluation by a PA or an ARNP is equivalent to a board certified physician then you probably think a Big Mac is the same as a steak from Ruth Chris....  that's not to say PAs and ARNPs don't have a role but the point is that they are not equivalent in education, experience, and judgement to a board certified physician with years of experience taking care of patients.....  but obamascare has undermined all of that.... standing round of applause for the fudge packer in chief...

Ignatius's picture

Like I said, "back-of-the-envelope".

I googled/wiki for dr/patient ratios and average GP pay.

I don't confuse McShit with Ruth Chris so FU for that.  This was a comment not a post. 

My point is that one can achieve primary care from a qualified doctor for a lot less than what the "fudge packer in Chief" plan offers.

I was modeling my comment on the history of what used to be called "Lodge Doctors".  There, say, a union would hire one or more doctors at an annual fee to take care of all the needs of the union and family members.

ObummerCare has us all going in on gold-plated Cadilacs (some include the motor).

Shad_ow's picture

Thank you for stating what so many do not understand.  If the free market was left to decide costs we would not be in the dire situation we are all facing.  Government corruption is almost always the problem.

Tabarnaque's picture

American exceptionalism...

youngman's picture

American Trial lawyers......

MachoMan's picture

I see folks like you keep posting this nonsense...  Are trial lawyers behind the meteoric rise in tuition costs?  Food costs?  Gasoline?  Anything else?  Insurance is not rising because of overzealous lawyers nor obnoxiously large verdicts.  Rather, insurance companies are taking their pound of flesh from the largest american service industry just like the banks, et al.  While I've posted it ad naseum, tort reform has been happening for centuries and has reached a present cycle peak, whereby there is nothing practical left to "remedy" other than completely absolving medical professionals from any liability for their acts.  Tort reform in this day and age has little to do with reform and everything to do with immunity.

Bay of Pigs's picture

True. But many lawyers still suck.

drendebe10's picture

Q:  What do you have when you have 500 lawyers standing in your yard?

A:  Fertilizers


The truth is trial lawyers impose a hidden tax on just about every consumer product including medicine.  Businessweek before it became Bloomberg week published an article about what the added cost of a consumer good showing the amount of the price comes from the lawyer tax ranging from ladders to cardiac pacemakers. Excessive and  unecessary medical testing and procedures comes from an inherent concern by physicians that if the physician has not done all that was feasibly possible and, given we live in an imperfect world, and there is an unexpected outcome, they will get sued.  It's not in the fore front of physician's decision making processes but if you don't think it doesn't impact medical decision making, then you still probably believe in Hope and Change by the fudge packer in chief.   The medical malpractice fees for specialist physicians far, far exceeds the incomes of 90% of tax paying US citiizen serfs and peasants.  And of course obamascare did not address this issue nor the fact that megahospital vertical monopoly systems and health insurance companies are reaping windfall profits from the unintended/intended consequences of obamascare on health care market forces.

And if you don't buy any of that, the first amendment is still in place, more or less, and then everyone can buy you a Big Mac and you will probably think it is from Ruth Chris..... oh, well.... keep burying your head in the sand..

Ying-Yang's picture

Well said Macho....

The insurance industry is driving costs up!

Lookup your favorite industry/sector to see what is being spent for lobbyists

Top Spenders....

Lookup your representatives...

Why do corporations have the same rights as you?


TBT or not TBT's picture

Government is entirely absent from the equation of course.

Ying-Yang's picture

depends on your definition of lobbyist

Savvy's picture

Umm.. here's a news flash. The countries that pay less than half what the US does Have gov run health care.


What they don't have is health insurers in the middle billing both ends.

Translational Lift's picture

Well aren't we the lucky ones...................

We have BOTH!!  We have gov run health care AND health insurers in the middle billing both ends!!


ContraDixion's picture

Not to mention regional monopolies protected by the state 4 0 competion.

drendebe10's picture

.... and the quality Phoenix VA hospital care will be coming to your neighborhood soon under obamascare...

verum quod lies's picture

What we have is direct and indirect government involvement that drives up costs to ridiculous levels (e.g., laws that allow a an effective medical cartel in many drugs and restrains trade in pricing of medical procedures that bill to things like Medicare & Medicaid, and laws that are directly against the Constitution that require citizens to purchase 'private' 'medical insurance', etc.). Also, most, if not all, those countries you obviously believe have "gov run health care" don't (e.g., most Scandanavian countries are slowly but surely privatizing coverage mostly due to rising costs associated with so called 'gov run helathacre').

voltaic's picture

But what is also obvious is that all the other low cost industrialized countries have socialized healthcare. How can it be that the free market would be so much better than what has been successful elsewhere?

Until there are strict campaign contribution laws, there will be no healthcare cost containments. Where else on earth would a ruling body, US Congress, pass laws making it illegal to import less expensive drugs from other countries. 

Stuck on Zero's picture

Government corruption.  You repeat yourself.


i_call_you_my_base's picture

People with money flock here. It's a bifurcation of the market, as most things in the US are. If you have tons of cash, then great, you're in, if not, you get the dregs. And the line of spend to get quality is rising.

25or6to4's picture

Not only is it people with lots of money flock here but also people with no money flock here as well, such as illegal immigrants and get free medical care. Everbody else gets screwed. I should add it's "free" for the illegals.

Jethro's picture

How else would you entice the future Democrats?

drendebe10's picture

Q:  How many democraps does it take to change a light bulb?

A:  That's not funny and you're a racissssssssss....

economics9698's picture

I was in a hospital recently, overstaffed monopoly full of feather bedding docs and nurses.  Grossly overstaffed. 

TBT or not TBT's picture

And hospitals are buying up small practices. Consolidating. Small practices and specialist doctor groups are selling theirselves out to larger entities with the bureaucratic might and the pull to face the onslaught of Obamacare. And hospitals can thereny charge even higher prices.

Osmium's picture

Just the opposite here.  Last year my wife had emergency surgery.  After she was moved from recovery into her room, couldn't find a nurse anywhere.   They did not plug her BP, heart, O2, and pain medication pumps into the wall.  So 15 minutes after they moved her into the room, the batteries on all these units died.  I could not find any help, so I plugged them in.

When her O2 was low and that alarm was going off, not a soul to be found anywhere.  So I just figured out how to silence the alarms and would increase her O2 flow when required.  All up and down the hall, all you could here was monitors blaring.    Her BP monitor stopped working correctly.  When a nurse did appear to check her vitals and the monitor did not work, she had to go find someone who knew how to take a BP with a stethoscope.  Would be real easy for someone to die in that place.

The surgeon showed up to check on her 3 DAYS after the surgery. 

MachoMan's picture

This is the soft underbelly of the medical sector.  You outsource primary care functions to lesser and lesser qualified personnel and hope that the patients aren't dead from even the most rudimentary treatment.  You want some staph with that flu?

This is the reason the medical lobby has to come out against med mal and keep the "tort reform" torch ablaze...  they need immunity from suit or else they won't be able to continue in business at their current profit levels because they won't be able to actually provide a reasonable level of care.  Practically no different than too big to fail or jail, but with a bit different approach.  All the efforts of a doctor making a couple hundred bucks an hour can be offset by an idiot making minimum wage who doesn't give a shit...  You would think it would create incentive for hospitals to hire better professionals and train them more, but it will only end in a lobbied savior.

We keep getting less cereal in the same size boxes and medical services aren't any different...

Chief Wonder Bread's picture

The one valid argument for old people to establish residency abroad is for the more accessible health care, often at quality-levels equivalent to or even better than the USA. The US healthcare system is totally screwed.

And it cannot be easily fixed.

Hospital costs: private/semi-private rooms in the US vs. ward-type in rest of world. Those are sunk capital costs.

Drugs: the pharma companies make up for cost controls in the rest of the world by over-charging in the US. Perhaps it would be better if other nations didn't subsidize drug costs - that would be the ideal from a libertarian viewpoint - but the reality is they do and we pay for it. How likely is that to change?

Physicians, surgeons, specialists: again, it's built-in folks, not going to change. Decades of disincentives for cost containment (mostly medical insurance) have created a cost structure that's extremely resistent to change. If it was proposed overnight that doctors take an across-the-board 15% reduction in their fees, what do you think would happen? Revolt at the ballot-box.

It's not just health-care. We live in a system where nothing moves, nothing changes. Until there's a blood-running-in-the-streets revolution, nothing changes. That's the reality.

drendebe10's picture

Wife's daughter is an RN who works in one of the burgeoning hospital vertical monopolies... she always talks about the hospital laying off nurses and those with hands on taking care of patients but I never hear of all the bureaucrats running around who push papers and go to meetings getting layed off.... I also never hear of the big shots in the hospital bureaucracy getting laid off or taking pay reductions....  I also see them building new bricks and mortar all over town....  all that expense costs so if anyone goes to the hospital they can expect a giant bill....  a friend's wife had an MRI scan at the hospital and received a bill for $4400.00; had she gone to an independent office with an MRI scan it probably would have been $1200-1400 or less (at least in my community).   Obamscare is driving all care to the hospital where in my experience it is always much, much more expensive and not necessarily better....

john39's picture

propaganda does wonders for the sick care industry. even with a gun to my head, I would fight to stay out of a U.S. hospital.

TheABaum's picture

Why are you planning to going to VA facility?

alien-IQ's picture

When you say that "people" flock here when they need serious medical mean really rich people, right?

TBT or not TBT's picture

Canadian people I mean. Canadian dogs, cats, and horses can get an MRI immediately up there. Veterinarians are private businesses up there, supplying care on demand at prices the market will bear.