United States Vs. Great Britain’s Healthcare System

United States Vs. Great Britain’s Healthcare System

For this assignment, I will be comparing the healthcare system of Great Britain with to the U.S. healthcare system.

Access between the two healthcare systems for children, people who are unemployed, and for people who are retired

In Great Britain, the children, those who are retired and the unemployed are covered under the National Health Service (NHS) which is universal and free. The healthcare system in Great Britain is managed by government and the taxes paid. According to Palfreman & Reid, (2008), services offered by the NHS do not have any monetary expenses.

The United States healthcare system has the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 which creates a shared responsibility among individuals, employers and the government to ensure that Americans receive high quality health care as well as affordable healthcare. Notably, the United States healthcare system is sectioned into public and private options are characterized with huge gaps in in both coverage and rates. Most of the private health insurance in America is managed at a state-level. In order for Americans to have further access to private insurance coverage, market places for federal and state rendered health insurance were put up in 2014 (International Health Care Systems, 2015). Additionally, patients get access to all doctors within their network hence they are free to choose.

Children, the unemployed and those who have retired in U.S mainly access healthcare through private insurances that are state-level. The U.S has a variety of healthcare options but most of them are really expensive and run by employers showing how convoluted the U.S healthcare system is convoluted. However, the U.S government has options with lower costs for those who are unemployed, retired and for the children. Medicaid is a U. S government health insurance that covers the unemployed, the retired and children from less-fortunate families.

Medication Coverage for the two Healthcare Systems

For Great Britain, any medications that are prescribed in hospitals by the NHS are offered freely. Great Britain healthcare system does not have co-payments for the outpatient prescription. For the co-payments, there is a waiver applied for pregnant women, those who gave birth in the last 12 months, children below the age of 16, elderly, full-time students, people earning a low income, cancer patients, and those with several other disabilities and conditions (International Profiles of health Care Systems, 2015).

In the United States, coverage for medications is usually part of the insurance plan from individual insurance providers.  The insurance plans have different copayments depending on the medications and pay different percentages again depending on the medication.  The government does have lower cost options for low income, children and the elderly.

Coverage for medication in the United States is usually as part of the insurance plan which is dependent on the individual insurance providers. The several insurance plans in the U.S have different co-payment rates and coverage dependent on the pay and medication as well as varied percentages depending on the medication.

Requirements for referral to see a specialist

For one to see a specialist in Great Britain, he/she has to fist visit a primary physician who can then give a referral to see a specialist. For the United States, one must also visit a primary physician in order to get a referral to a specialist. Furthermore, the doctors consulted have to be within the patient’s network of insurance or else the specialist visit can be more expensive or won’t be covered with the insurance plan

Coverage for preexisting conditions

The NHS in Great Britain is universal and hence covers for those with preexisting conditions. It is different in the U.S as a patient does not have any insurance plan in place for healthcare payments and has a preexisting condition, he or she will find it challenging to find an insurance company will cover for the condition. Patients without insurance in the U.S who have preexisting conditions and seek coverage by insurance companies influence how much healthcare access they may have. In short, all healthcare costs end up with the patients and can be exorbitant at times.


Financial implications for the patient with regard to the healthcare delivery differences between the two countries


For patients in need of healthcare and without any insurance coverage in the United States, they may suffer costs that can deem them bankrupt or in debt for a long while. It is also difficult to qualify and access the government offered options which are cheaper it is extremely expensive to cover for healthcare in the United States.



2014 International Profiles of Healthcare Systems (January 2015).  Retrieved from:     http://www.commonwealthfund.org/~/media/files/publications/fund-    report/2015/jan/1802_mossialos_intl_profiles_2014_v7.pdf

Palfreman, J. and Reid, T. R. (April 15, 2008).  Sick Around the world.  Great Britain:  A leader     in preventive medicine.  Retrieved from:     http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/video/flv/generic.html?s=frol02n71cq101


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