National health insurance also known as statutory health insurance is a type of health insurance that insures national population for health care costs and is normally instituted as part of healthcare reform.
This is normally enforced by law and can be administered by the private sector, public sector or a blend of both. Funding for this kind of insurance normally varies with the country where it is enforced as well as the program itself. The programs offered by the program normally differ in how revenue is collected as well as the services offered.
There are some countries like Canada where payment for national health insurance is made by the government that gets it directly from tax revenues. The collection is normally administered by the government. In France, the same system is used where compulsory contributions are made but the collections are normally administered by non profit organizations which have been specifically set up for this purpose.
This in the United States is known as single payer health care. Provision of the services under this is either done through health care providers which may be privately or publicly owed.
An alternative to this is a funding approach that is used in a number of countries where the national health insurance requires compulsory contributions that are used for the insurance funds.
The funds which may be run by private/public/non profit organizations are supposed to provide a minimum standard coverage and they must never discriminate the patients by charging different rates according to health status, occupation or age.
The protect the interests of both insurance companies and patients, the government normally establishes an equalization pool that is used to spread the risks between a number of funds.
The government may also provide a kind of health care subsidy by contributing some money to the equalization pool. This is an example of a system that is used in Netherlands.
There are also some countries where national heath insurance is largely funded by employee and employers who contribute to sickness funds. This means that the funds are not sourced from the government and neither do they come from direct private payments.
This kind of system is used in countries such as Belgium and Germany. With this system, the funds are not directed to the profit institutions because they are run solely for the benefit of the members.
Other than direct medical costs, there are some national health insurance plans that offer compensation to their member for some misfortunes for example when a person loses their job because of their ill health. This is where they can be used in sync with social insurance plans which cover factors such as unemployment, pensions, financial support and occupational retraining.
National schemes normally have the advantage of a pool (s) which can be very large especially when a country has a large population. This also helps members when they are not well off financially for instance when pregnant to get the kind of care that they deserve.
This differs from private schemes that normally offer their services depending on the heath status of the person, age, family history and previous illness among many other factors.
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