Plain and simple, health insurance plans are expensive. People are paying more than ever before–not just in the U.S., but around the world, too.
While most countries in the world average about 9 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) in healthcare spending, these above-average countries are paying more.
In 2015, the publication 24/7 Wall Street analyzed a report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, titled “Health at a Glance 2015,” and honed in on the top 10 countries who spend the most on healthcare.
Clocking in at No. 10 is our neighbor to the north, Canada, whose citizens spend 10.2 percent of their GDP on their socialized healthcare. Their citizens have a high perception of their health, with 89 percent of Canadians claiming to be in good or very good health.
No. 9 is the tiny European nation of Luxembourg, whose citizens are the wealthiest in the world per capita. The vast majority of its health spending comes from the public sector.
Spending 10.1 percent of its GDP is Austria, who ranks No. 8 on the list. Austria spends more than $4,500 per person on healthcare.
At No. 7 is Denmark, a country that used to be No. 1 back in 1980, when spending 8.4 percent of GDP was enough to be the most in the world. Now, in seventh place, they spend 10.4 percent of GDP.
Germany comes in at No. 6, with their universal healthcare plans costing more than $4,800 per person on average.
Eleven percent of GDP goes toward healthcare in No. 5 Sweden, despite Swedes visiting their doctors infrequently by comparison.
The Netherlands, at No. 4, spends 11.1 percent of their GDP–which is the second-highest percentage rate among the nations studied.
No. 3 Norway spends more money from public sources on healthcare than any other country studied, to the tune of $4,981 of the $5,862 total per capita annual health spending.
Switzerland, No. 2, gets the silver medal in healthcare spending, spending more than $6,300 per person per year on average there. It also has one of the highest concentrations of medical personnel in the world.
And last, but not least… the United States is No. 1 in how much money is spent per person per year in the country, and no one else is even close. Spending more than $8,700 per person annually, the U.S. sees 16.4 percent of its GDP spent on healthcare, while obesity rates are some of the highest in the world and other adverse health outcomes–such as infant mortality–have increased in recent years.
What we spent in the U.S. in 2015 was equal to Germany’s entire economy ($3.2 trillion).
A recent Fortune Magazine article by Sandro Galea put it pointedly:
American health is, by most metrics, worse than that of all other rich countries. US child mortality, for example, is about seven per 1,000 children. Compare this to Finland, where child mortality is two per 1,000 children. Then there is life expectancy. A Japanese child born today can expect to reach the age of 84, while an American child can expect to reach age 79. This gap exists despite the fact that the U.S. spends about 7% more on health than Japan. America still manages to beat, barely, a country like Qatar, where life expectancy is age 78. This achievement becomes less impressive, however, when we consider that the US spends about eight times more per capita on health than Qatar. It is also worth factoring in the unique health challenges the US faces, such as the obesity epidemic, which costs the nation between $147 billion and $210 billion per year and adds to the burden of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and heart disease. Would a truly healthy nation have such morbidity in its midst?
The system of snowballing costs with little to show for it has to end. Let Captiva Benefit Solutions guide you towards taking back healthcare, for the ultimate goal of seeing people save their hard-earned money (and your company’s profits) and save their lives with better care.