People who travel to the United States from other countries are well aware of the higher cost of healthcare in the United States. Costs for doctors, medical facilities and prescription drugs are all significantly higher in the United States. On average, costs are twice as high in the US when compared to other developed nations. Insurance companies immediately increase their rates for any vacation that includes time spent in the US. So, if you travel to the United States, you need to purchase additional medical coverage.
Studies consistently rank the United States healthcare system poorly. In addition to high costs, poor coverage is a problem. According to PBS, 38 million people in the US have inadequate coverage and 44 million people have no coverage at all. That means 1 person out of 4 in the United States is at risk of financial ruin from unexpected health problems.
In 2017 the Commonwealth Fund assessed the healthcare systems for 11 developed countries and rated the United States last. The countries with better healthcare included the UK, Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, Canada and France. Meanwhile Bloomberg posted a 2018 study on the efficiency of healthcare systems for 56 different countries. The United States ranks tied for next to last place.
Don’t confuse a poor healthcare system with the quality of care found at individual US hospitals though. The Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins Hospital consistently rank as the best hospitals in the world. The issue is that many people in the United States don’t have access to quality healthcare. Make sure to top up your medical insurance if you travel in the United States.