The Top 8 Countries for Healthcare Benefits

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If you list the most important topics on the minds of HR professionals everywhere, healthcare coverage for employees is undoubtedly at the top. While healthcare is a controversial topic in the United States, many countries are breaking new ground regarding the type and quality of healthcare provided to citizens. The following is a list of the top 8 countries for healthcare worldwide and the benefits provided to their citizens.

1.) The United Kingdom

The UK's current healthcare system,  the National Health Service (NHS), first came into existence after World War II. The hospital provides the most universally available and free healthcare system - it is paid entirely by central funding.

Healthcare in the United Kingdom can be accessed by non-residents and residents through the public or private sectors, depending on their choices. This comprehensive healthcare is provided regardless of residential status. While coverage is available through employers, a lack of employment will not stop citizens from getting access to the care they need at a moment's notice.

2.) Switzerland

Healthcare in Switzerland is universal and regulated by a body called the Swiss Federal Law on Health Insurance. Interestingly, there are no free, state-provided health services. Residents must obtain private health insurance, and ex-pats must establish coverage within at least three months of arrival for ex-pats.

Funding for the system comes through the premiums of all enrolled parties, taxes, social insurance contributions, and out-of-pocket payments. So, while Switzerland's healthcare system has long been considered one of the best in the world, it is among the most expensive.

3.) Sweden

Sweden's healthcare system is another example of one that is primarily funded by the federal government. Though it is universal and available for all citizens, private health care also exists for people to select. Concerning public healthcare, the system itself is financed primarily through taxes. All three levels of the country's government are closely involved in the healthcare system, with the Ministry of Health executing the programs at the national level.

4.) Australia

Australia's comprehensive healthcare system takes a hybrid approach to care options for its residents. Citizens of the country can take advantage of the public system, which is offered for free or at a reduced rate through Medicare or the private system, which is offered through private insurance or private health organizations. This two-pronged approach ranks the country high on the Healthcare Access and Quality Index, scoring 95.9 out of 100. 

5.) Germany

Germany's multi-payer healthcare system is funded by statutory contributions, which helps ensure that free healthcare is consistently available for German citizens. Employers and employees equally contribute a percentage into a pool, and that money is used for public health insurance. However, people do have the option to take out private health insurance to replace their state-provided coverage if they so choose.

Germany's system is known as being one of the best in the entire world, and there's usually little to no wait even for elective procedures or things like diagnostic testing.

6.) The Netherlands

The Netherlands' healthcare system is unique in that it brings public and private options together to offer a universal system. Residents of the Netherlands must purchase statutory health insurance from private insurers. These insurers must accept all applicants regardless of factors, including employment status or pre-existing conditions. Citizens pay an annual rate for their insurance and a capped deductible, though lower-income residents benefit from government assistance to lower their payments.  

This revised healthcare system covers 99% of the population and ranks third on the Healthcare Quality and Access Index.

7.) New Zealand

New Zealand built its universal healthcare system mostly through government subsidies and public funding. Taxes finance the vast majority of services provided through the healthcare system. However, residents also have the option to pay for private healthcare with medical insurance. Citizens who pay for private care typically do so to expedite the process for elective surgeries and the chance to choose their doctors, but they are welcome to use public healthcare in lieu of their private care. 

8.) Norway

Norway is known for having one of the best healthcare systems in the world, but it is far from free. Here, residents pay for all medical treatments - even a typical consultation with a general practitioner. Once a person reaches their annual limit, they get an exemption card that guarantees them free treatment for any health-related matter for the remainder of the year before everything rolls back over again on January 1. However, treatment for any citizen under 16-years-old is free. 

Norway's health system is notable because all hospitals are funded by the public as a part of the national budget each year. 

Healthcare Helps Retain Top Talent

It is no secret that competitive healthcare benefits are a big selling point for top talent. If your firm is considering global expansion, make sure to factor the country's healthcare system into your decision, as it might help your firm retain the best possible talent for your team. 

If you're looking to expand into a new country or grow your existing operation into additional markets, partner with an Employer of Record expert. Velocity Global helps choose the right market for your business, mitigates risk, and ensures a smooth expansion process. 

To learn more about how we can help, get in touch today

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