Healthcare Models in the United States


A healthcare system is an incorporation that makes use of resources, people, and institutions to satisfy the health needs of its users and to deliver a reliable healthcare service. All over the world, different countries use different types of healthcare systems. The description of healthcare in most countries is in terms of its planning as being more evolutionary rather than being revolutionary. Healthcare delivery is best attributable to a concerted effort of different institutions that are coordinated to deliver the best healthcare service. The most common models that are in use all over the world include the Beveridge model, Bismarck model, Medicare model and out of pocket model (PNHP Resources 1).

Bismarck model

This type of model is also known as a sickness fund whereby the health insurance gets its funds from compulsory taxes levied on the employers and employees. In this model, the health insurance delivery is through private companies, which work under government regulations. This model is a non-profit system with its sole priority being to cover everybody. Nevertheless, the fact that this model’s administration is through private companies gives the government a leeway for controlling the cost of resources that it provides. In the United States today, the Bismarck model is commonly applicable in Latin America and most likely to working Americans who have a health insurance cover (PNHP Resources 1).

Beveridge model

In this type of model, the government funds and provides healthcare services, which they pay for by the taxes that they collect. It is a socialized healthcare model since its payment is through public funds. In this model, the government pays the doctors and owns the hospitals. This type of model is applicable in the United States in providing healthcare services to the veteran administration (PNHP Resources 1).

Medicare or Canadian model

In this model, universal coverage is provided and the system is publicly funded but privately run with free provision of care at the point of use. This model bases its care on varied basic principles. It delimits healthcare as a compulsory service that should be universally available, healthcare should be available anytime, and it should be a comprehensive service, accessible at all times and its administration should be public. This type of model provides patients with a free choice of doctor and hospital that they want to be treated. It is also known as the single-payer model, and enjoys a larger market share than it uses for negotiating for lower prices. In the United States today, this model has negotiated with pharmaceutical companies for lower prices hence Americans leave their own drug stores to buy drugs long distances. This model takes care of Americans who are 65 years and above old mostly the elderly (PNHP Resources 1).

Out of Pocket model

In this model, the patients themselves pay for the healthcare bills. The rich tend to get medical care at the expense of the poor. This model is common in poor world countries where patients cannot afford to pay for their medical bills. Most of the people in these countries live their whole life without access to a doctor. Most of the medical bills are paid by collections made by patients but in cases where there is nothing to give no medical care is given. In the United States today, this model is applicable in catering to the people who do not have any health insurance. This group comprises individuals below the poverty of the uninsured people (PNHP Resources 1).


In conclusion, one can argue that each country has its problems concerning its healthcare systems. The United States healthcare system is unlike all other countries since it maintains separate healthcare models that cater for all classes of people. Without a specific healthcare model in place, containing the long-term trend that lingers towards a higher cost of living still is and will remain a big challenge for the governments (PNHP Resources 1).

Works Cited

PNHP Resources. “Healthcare Systems: Four Basic Models”. 2011.

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