Health care policies greatly vary throughout the world; From countries such as Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, who have virtually no health care system to countries such as Luxembourg and Japan, who have universal care. Each country offers its citizens different policies, and depending on your thoughts on healthcare, you may prefer the offerings of one nation more than another.
In this series of blogs, I will expand on different health care policies from around the world – from fully funded services to nothing. This month, I will be taking a look at Luxembourg, who Business Insider ranked number one for the world’s best healthcare system.
The State System
Luxembourg is a small country surrounded by Belgium, France, and Germany and is home to almost 600,000 citizens. The country is known to have one of the best healthcare systems in the world due to their state-funded system that provides all citizens with free basic healthcare. The free coverage is derived from the pay of employees and employed citizens. Once a citizen begins to pay social contributions, their social security card is proof of insurance. Children and students are also able to stay on their parent’s policy until the age of 27.
The system is overseen by the country’s Caisse de Maladie, a healthcare fund. The Caisse de Maladie follows high standards for providing basic care. According to Expatica, primary coverage includes most treatments by your general practitioner or specialists, hospitalization, any laboratory tests, and prescriptions. The Caisse de Maladie is also responsible for providing reimbursements for healthcare costs. While a citizen can receive a full refund, the Caisse de Maladie determines rates of payment and not all healthcare costs qualify.
Private healthcare is also available in Luxembourg and allows citizens to select their own doctors and hospitals. However, those who use the private system may not receive full reimbursement from the Caisse de Maladie. Many citizens in Luxembourg elect to obtain supplementary insurance or have it already provided by their employer to fund such unsupported costs. This secondary coverage allows citizens to receive reimbursement payments as well as helps cover costs for treatment outside of the country.
The Caisse de Maladie is in charge of running all hospitals, and there are no private hospitals. On a non-emergency basis, patients must be referrals from their doctor to be admitted. Patients also much bring their own clothing, robe, toiletries, and towels. Additionally, telephone and television use comes at additional charges. Private vendors provide these services.
Luxembourg’s healthcare system is highly rated. Be sure to check back next month for an analysis of another highly ranked healthcare system from Japan!
Robert Desai is an successful equities investor in Massachusetts, and also spent time in the medical field. Check out his investing website or follow him on Twitter for the latest healthcare policy blogs!