Healthcare in Germany

Healthcare in Germany

The last international health care system we covered – Singapore – got a great response from all of you. This week. We head back to Europe. Specifically, we’re going to Germany. Their universal health care system is based on the principles of Bismark, which say that the state should provide only for those unable to provide for themselves. It’s a private insurance system, and it’s the topic of this week’s Healthcare Triage.

Those of you who want to read more and see references can go here:
Additionally, Aaron’s new book is out! Please consider buying a copy. He’d really appreciate it!

John Green — Executive Producer
Stan Muller — Director, Producer
Aaron Carroll — Writer
Mark Olsen — Graphics


  1. 4:24 – Doctors will still get paid if they exceed their patient limit, just at a lesser rate. These percentages are also officially regulated.

  2. Democrat: Our Healthcare system is an outdated mess. We need to have a Single-payer system like Canada where everybody will be covered.

    Republican: No, that will add to our deficit. We should have Heath Savings Accounts like Singapore where healthcare would be cheaper for everyone.

    Me: Germany anybody?

  3. I have no idea why my mexican ppl are immigrating to USA when we could be in Germany and get some of that glorious healthcare.
    Does this system cover undocumented immigrants? Serious question…

  4. Why are there different SHI fund or different sizes of SHI funds?

    – You "if a fund runs low on money…" does this mean there are different funds for different illnesses?

    Thanks for the excellent information

    edit: Paraphrasing what is written on wiki, if people earn less than ~50K euro/yr they are automatically enrolled into 1 of ~130 different sickness funds which charge "common rates for ALL members" (paid by employer-employee contributions). Each fund is mandated to provide unique and broad packages without being able to discriminate on risk.

    I.e. if they all charge common rates and all provide similar coverage why are there 130 of them as opposed to just 1? If the differences lie in the "unique" portion of each fund, how is a person supposed to know which fund is best for them?

  5. The American left: we should have a single payer universal system like Canada!

    The American right: no we should keep our healthcare system

    Me an intellectual:

  6. The most cost effective healthcare system is run by SPAIN. They combine a relatively low per capita spending on healthcare with a live expactency second only to Japan by a fraction of a year. How do they do it?
    Smoke some cigarettes, drink some red wine, use olive oil for cooking, sleep siesta, and take life easy.

  7. The dark side is, that you have to wait very long in my opinion
    The longest I’ve ever waited was 3 hours… with a broken finger.
    I know it depends on where you’re going and where you live.
    And the I look at my grandparents which go to the doctor every week even if it’s not necessary…

  8. I believe out of all the healthcare system options the German system would probably work the best in the US and likely be the easiest for American politicians to accept

  9. Born in the U.S., raised in the U.S., work in U.S. healthcare, and want to go to medical school. Where do I want to go for medical training? Germany or Austria.

  10. Actually, there’s still a gatekeeping system in use: you need to get a transfer from your primary care doctor to the specialist every quarter before SHI allows the specialist to do anything for you. (As a diabetic, I’m very aware of this.) Also, one very important difference between SHI (what I have) and PHI (what my mother has) is that with SHI, you pay any copay, and the SHI directly pays the rest; whereas with PHI, you pay everything, then the PHI reimburses you (except for any copay). When my mother was in a specialist hospital for a spine injury, halfway across Germany, I got to receive invoices for several hundred thousand Euros. Fun!
    Also, it seems that with PHI, you receive lots of care by the top doctors of the hospital, even if you rarely actually meet those and can’t even remember some of those treatments. /s

    Somehow, having seen it work, I’m not tempted by PHI even apart from not making enough for it.

  11. Very good video about german health insurance. Being an independent insurance broker in Germany and my wife being American, we put some useful information about German Insurances and How to choose between public or private health insurance on our newest blog article. @t I am sure it will help your followers too! 🙂

  12. while insuring yourself for healtcare in the USA is difficult the actual quality of healthcare itself is the highest in the world.

  13. "Not for profit Insurance"…..I just love saying it over and over again! Cram it down the throat of the US’s satanic for profit health insurance system.

  14. There are two strategic points that weren’t mentioned in this video.
    1. As an employee you can only choose an SHi if you earn ABOVE 62,550.- Euro per year (in 2020). This amount is based on statistics on income and is being checked every year. Basically a lot more people would like to switch to SHi but can’t.
    2. Rates for SHi change dramatically as older you get or if you develope a chronic disease. For a young male person it’s very attractive. If you want to change your insurance company in the age of 55+ not so much. Lots of treatments are excluded and you need to pay them out of the pocket.

  15. Another little info: if you absolutely HAVE to get ONE medicinal drug instead of the cheapest because you can’t take the cheapest drugs additional ingredients you can take the higher cost drugs and the SHI will cover the cost as well.

  16. After reading all these comments you do realize that the reason why these countries can sustain these universal healthacre systems is simple MILITARY BUDGET. The U.S. gives 700 billion every year to Nato while they contribute a small percent of there GDP. So instead they put there taxes towards heathcare and schooling.

    What if the US stopped donating 700 billion and said you guys are on your own. Bye Bye healthcare and schooling your taxes would be going directly to military

    Dont believe me? Google countries with the best healthcare nearly everyone is in th EU or the us protects there country via military

  17. Nothing said here is related to reality. Yet the first statement "based on private insurance" is rather bullshit, maybe taken from history of 19th century.
    Today 90 percent of the population is covered by the public social insurance system which is never privat, but run by the state via 100 state-owned insurances.

    Just the latter 10 percent of the pop are insured by private companies. But i would not call all the other 90 percent "poor" since Germany is not Bangladesh.

    This video serial is horribly bad researched. Not good advertisement for american journalism.

  18. You only have to pay 10€/day for a hospital stay for up to 28 days per year. So you can spend a maximum of 280€/year for being in a hospital, no matter how often you stay there overnight or how many more than 28 days you stay.

  19. Guys guys listen this one: im gonna check my feelings tomorrow with a public psychologist, and wont pay anything, i mean literally! xD (bla bla taxes, worth it!!!)
    Some people with certain shit healthcare systems must have it tough… life is tough, dont make it tougher…adopt universal healthcare…be kind to eachothers.

  20. What so many people fail to see is that there is a huge difference between Social Democracy (Europe, Scandanavia, etc.) and Communism (USSR, China, etc.). I think Germany really is a role model for America, but I also have bias towards Germany because I have German ancestors.

  21. I will point out that the ACCESS aspect in Germany, is no longer. Current access is terrible. For specialists, you might wait 3+ months for the appointment.

  22. The US Health Care system is a *Business* not a Health Care. Putting money above the human life should be considered inhuman. But ‘Murrica Fuck yeah Freedom until I die, fuck sOcIaliSm.

  23. These videos are very informative and well-made. I would love to see a video on the Japanese system. I lived there for ten years, and would enjoy learning your perspective on it.

  24. the austrian one is a bit better and the swiss one is the best
    but what no one knows is how underpaid and unfair treated are nurses in both Germany and Austria, less and less people is choosing to study in this field and is going to be a HUGE problem in the future

  25. The US should adopt Germany’s system. For how large our country is and how demanding our healthcare population is, this seems like the best compromise for everyone.

  26. To tell you the truth, this system would be more acceptable to the US because of the different Insurance plans rather than a "single-payer" fund.

  27. Germany: "Call an ambulance!"
    Hours later – treated, bill=free

    (Someone calls an ambulance anyways)
    Ambulance arrives – please have your credit card ready before entering ambulance
    Hours later – treated, medical bill debt=$900,000

  28. Can you do updates on all these countries and perhaps add others like Norway, S. Korea, PRC, Japan, Spain, the Netherlands, etc.?

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