By mere definition, private insurance is a method in which a person ensures himself and protects himself through a possible calamity or health epidemic. (Claxton 2002, p. 1-5) This is provided by an external insurance firm or body, that deals with hospitals and affiliated medical institutions. Private insurance has existed throughout the world side by side with government aided insurance coverage for many decades now. Yet private insurance is increasingly becoming an option taken by a lot of young professionals as it offers more flexibility in terms of its services.
For instance, government subsidized health care services is limited to the actual geographical location of a nation’s medical hospitals and affiliated government doctors. In contrast, private health insurance can offer a wider coverage. (Claxton 2002, pp. 1-25) If a person avails of a private insurance in the United States, it is possible that the person could utilize this insurance policy when one encounters a health tragedy in another country – for as long as the insurance company is honored by that country and that there are existing affiliated hospitals with the said insurance firm.
This is what the American Insurance Group has lived up to and it is increasingly common among other travelers and other health insurance providers have come to realize. In a global economy, the flexibility of the insurance mechanism and health care ought to cover an individual not just in one country but also in another one. Each system has unique characteristic that has an edge over the others. For one thing, health care services that stem from government subsidies makes it’s citizenry feel that the government owes them everything.
Although that statement might be more of a hasty generalization, when taxation is the sole determinant in providing health care services, it is highly plausible that the funds allotted for the health care of the citizenry change from year to year. What happens when a country that heavily relies solely on government subsidy face a financial crisis and it needs to steer its national budget towards other more pressing needs than the health care system? Such a scenario would leave many people helpless since they have already become accustomed to a system that has provided from them like that of a baby being nurtured by a mother.
Only this time, the mother has failed to wean its child from breastfeeding and in spite of the fact that the child has already grown up and became an adult – the child doesn’t feel the need to stand up on its own. Let us take the case of The Netherlands. The country has different laws governing the use of certain drugs that are considered illegal in other countries. It is also one of the first countries in the world that instituted gay marriages and that the government allows and facilitates euthanasia. Euthanasia, is called mercy killing but others consider it as a form of suicide.
For instance, when a person contracts cancer and discovers that it is no longer possible to treat it, doctors inform their patients that euthanasia is a possible choice instead of going through the difficult process as one’s health slowly deteriorates. Could it be possible, that the reason why the government gives their citizens the option to kill themselves prior to the disease to reach its difficult stage stem from the fact that the government spends much of its government allocation towards providing health care for its citizen in the form of SHI?
If so, then one could then consider that the reason why the state legislated euthanasia is so that there would be a legal methodology to encourage citizens to enter into that decision in order to help lessen expenditures that are taken upon by the welfare state. Nevertheless, even private health insurances have their downside as well. Although it may offer a wider range of options, often there is a gestation period wherein one is not able to utilize some of the benefits of the health insurance.
For some health insurance are bundle with other insurance policies and have stringent stipulations that makes it difficult for the insured individual to access the said health insurance. Still, health care that stems from taxation works for certain countries but it also means that it is reliant upon a nation to continue to produce productive citizens, or in layman’s terms – new babies and new citizens. In most of the countries of the developed countries of the European Union, the birth rate is increasingly getting smaller and in some countries it is almost zero growth.
For such welfare states such as Denmark and Italy that rely heavily on taxation in order to fund health care; this is becoming problematic because if there is no new generation of workers that could be taxed by the government, then the government runs the risk of using more funds from other taxes levied in different sectors of society in order to continue to finance the cost of health care for its citizenry. This is the same concern that Japan is facing, since it is also facing a graying population.
In light of this changing dynamics of the world’s population, the use of private insurance becomes increasingly more functional since people will not have to rely on the government to provide for their health care needs. It is common among third world countries that the government hospitals are overflowing with patients at the seams, simply because its citizens cannot afford to pay for their own health insurance. In such a case, the country must be able to come up with a similar SHI or state funded health care system in order to address pressing needs.
Yet at the same time, governments should also consider thinking of other paradigms in understanding the best way in delivering better health care and financing the health care system. This will be an increasing concern of European nations that have been a welfare state in the health care system. In order to address the continued provision of health care, the nations would have to encourage immigrants to work and live in their country in order to provide for its aging citizens through the taxes imposed on these new workers. Conclusion
To sum up this brief research paper, the researcher believes that the best possible method is to integrate the three different systems into the health care system. The need for government to continue to provide for adequate health care through public financing and taxation is relevant since not all members of the community of any country that has such a system have the same social classes. In short, there would be individuals and communities that continue to experience being marginalized and may not be able to adequately provide for themselves.
A case in point is when a person loses a job due to adjustments in the economy and being laid off. That person might have a savings account but that could easily be wiped out if the person couldn’t find another means of employment. Given such a scenario, a person who encounters failing health might not be able to even go to a doctor and so the government’s role to provide for its citizens is important at all times.
In addition, the SHI is also important because it shows how the government spends and how an individual taxpayer also has share of the responsibility in providing for one’s health care. This increases the rate of accountability between the two parties because the individual becomes aware of how much one is actually contributing towards one’s health care or social security and one becomes more confident about the government as well.
Finally, the private insurance system best fits into the needs of those who are constantly on the move. For those who transfer jobs from one country to another, relying on just the government health care or the SHI is insufficient because each country might have certain stipulations over the number of years that one should give towards the system before one is capable of actually accessing the said funds. This is the system that is being used in the Philippines Social Security System.
(Social Security System 2006) When a government is able to synthesize the three modalities of funding the health care system, the delivery of primary health care becomes the primary goal that is easy to deliver to its citizens.
Anna Dixon and Elias Mossialos ed. 2002. ‘Health care systems in eight countries: trends and challenges’. European Observatory on Health Care Systems April 2002. Claxton, Gary. April 2002. ‘How Private Insurance Works: A Primer. Institute for Health Care Research and Policy’. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Georgetown University, pp. 1-25