Thursday, March 12, 2009

Many countries, many health care systems

I think it is an unfortunate situation that there are many people in
the United States who do not have adequate health care coverage, and I
think many other countries I have lived in do much better in this

In Austria, for more than 3 decades, I was covered by state health
insurance, which was quite complete coverage, and the system seems to
work well. You could have supplementary health insurance in
addition, but it did not really seem necessary. When I had
appendicitis in Austria in 1981, the hospital dealt with it well, and
I didn't have to pay anything at all - it was covered by state health
insurance, and almost nothing in the way of paperwork either..

In Japan the state health insurance provides basic health care
whenever I have a visa to stay in Japan for a year or more. But,
there may be some "loopholes" - it may be better to have some
supplementary - and I have not always found a solution that I am
really satisfied with. Short-term OK, but long-term still not really solved for me.

In the Netherlands, where I lived for 3 years, I didn't understand the
situation very well really, but I think it was better than in the US,
even now. Since they thought I was "well-paid", my employer said I
should buy into "private health insurance", required, which was
considered "adequate", I suppose.

Jimmy Macnaughton

Dates: I have not resided in the US since 1971.

Netherlands: 1971-1974

Austria: since 1974 except for time living in Japan

2001-2004 1/2 time in Japan
up to end of 2004, no problem with state health insurance in Austria

2005- present 9 months a year in Japan...

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