If you are planning to travel to the U.S. for tourism, work, education or living, then you need to know about health care and medical service in the United States. In fact, the health care system in the United States is the most high-quality, efficient, but, to tell the truth, a bit expensive. Most of the new and modern medicines, and medical equipment are designed and manufactured in America. The United States has the best medical institutes (Harward Medical School), and the biggest and most equipped hospitals of the planet (Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, the number of personnel – 14,000). A huge research base, highly qualified doctors, modern drugs and devices, as well as decent working conditions are doing health services in the United States one of the best.
What is health insurance and why is it necessary?
The vast majority of U.S. residents have health insurance. A company pays for most of the employee’s insurance, the rest – an employee. Dentists services are not included in basic medical insurance. To have insurance is voluntary, if an employee does not want to have health insurance, then he/she can negotiate with a manager in order to partially offset it by increase in salary.
Medical insurance covers not only medical care, but also purchase of medicines in pharmacies, so those who do not have insurance, are obliged to buy medicines by cash. Those people who do not have enough income, have state insurance, which is called “Medicaid”, In fact, it differes not a lot from ordinary health insurance, U.S. citizens are served by the same medical institutions and same doctors as the working people. Under this program 5 services are available: inpatient and outpatient treatment, consultations with various experts, staying in the nursing home, laboratory diagnostics and X-ray methods. State insurance is also for people who are retiring, and it is called “Medicare”. “Medicare” does not cover the full cost of drugs, that is a disadvantage. This program aims to help people over 65 years old and citizens of preretirement age who have health problems.
Currently, every legal resident of the country must have medical insurance. It is a requirement of Affordable Care Act.
Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) – a major law on the protection of patients’ rights and accessible health care, advanced more in 2010, by Barack Obama. This law is one of the most radical and costly legislated in the U.S. history, and it fundamentally changes the health insurance system, and a health care system.
So, if a resident of the United States does not have health insurance, he/she will have to pay for all his/her own medical expenses and to pay a fine to the state.
The difference of health care system in the United States and Russia
Every Russian citizen who comes to the U.S. has to understand that the health system in Russia is different from the medical services in the United States. The first difference is that in Russia we have primary care physicians, whom we can call home in case of illness. In America there are no local doctors, in case of illness you need to call an ambulance or go to the hospital. The advantage is that you can assign yourself the time and come to a doctor, without standing in queues.
Also, in America there are no sick-lists, a person decides to go to a job or not. As a rule, there are 5 sick days a year that are paid. If a person exceeds that number, then he/she is not simply paid. To start treatment, you need to find a family doctor. A family doctor sends a sick person for tests and examinations, consultations with specialists of narrow profile, prescribers, and also leads a patient’s hospital treatment.