Special Report

This Is How Americans' Medical Bills Compare to Other Countries

Source: dusanpetkovic / Getty Images

15. Netherlands
> Per capita out-of-pocket medical spending: $570 a year (10.8% of total)
> Total per capita health care spending: $5,288 a year
> Life expectancy at birth: 81.8 years
> Population: 17.2 million

The Dutch have a universal health care system that covers an estimated 99.8% of the population. Still, residents must pay out-of-pocket costs related to hospital admissions and prescription drugs. This cost, in addition to personal spending on medical goods, comes out to $570 per resident a year, or about 10.8% of total medical spending.

As is typically the case in OECD countries with universal health care, the Netherlands has a relatively healthy population. Life expectancy at birth in the country is 81.8 years, well above the global average of 72.4 years.

Source: Ca-ssis / Getty Images

14. Japan
> Per capita out-of-pocket medical spending: $608 a year (12.7% of total)
> Total per capita health care spending: $4,766 a year
> Life expectancy at birth: 84.2 years
> Population: 126.5 million

Through a network of over 3,400 insurers, Japan has a universal health care system that is required by law to provide high quality care to all citizens. Funded primarily by taxes and employee and employer premiums, the system derives only about 12% of its funding from out-of-pocket patient costs. The typical Japanese citizen pays $608 out of pocket in medical expenses every year.

Japan’s health care system appears to be functioning better than most, as life expectancy at birth in the country is 84.2 years, nearly the highest in the world.

Source: sturti / Getty Images

13. United Kingdom
> Per capita out-of-pocket medical spending: $629 a year (16.0% of total)
> Total per capita health care spending: $4,070 a year
> Life expectancy at birth: 81.3 years
> Population: 66.5 million

In the U.K., the National Health Service, or NHS, provides health care to most residents. Though coverage is universal, about one in every 10 British nationals are enrolled in some form of private insurance program, which typically offers faster and more convenient access to health care.

In addition to medical products for personal use, British residents can still have out-of-pocket costs for outpatient prescription medication and dental services. At $629 per year, the per capita out-of-pocket medical spending in the U.K. accounts for about 16% of all health care expenditure.

Source: alvarez / Getty Images

12. Germany
> Per capita out-of-pocket medical spending: $738 a year (12.3% of total)
> Total per capita health care spending: $5,986 a year
> Life expectancy at birth: 81.1 years
> Population: 82.9 million

The vast majority of German residents receive their health care through publicly funded insurance programs, and about one in every 10 Germans opt for private health insurance. The public option is funded largely through taxes on businesses and workers, while private insurance, a popular option among higher-income residents, receives no government subsidies — but is regulated to ensure premiums are not a significant financial burden. The typical German pays $738 in out-of-pocket medical expenses a year.

Source: FatCamera / Getty Images

11. Canada
> Per capita out-of-pocket medical spending: $749 a year (15.1% of total)
> Total per capita health care spending: $4,974 a year
> Life expectancy at birth: 82.0 years
> Population: 37.1 million

Canada’s health care system, which is organized and administered by provincial and territorial governments, offers citizens comprehensive, universal coverage. The federal government assists with funding and regulating these systems. Still, about two-thirds of Canadians also have private insurance, which covers services not provided in the public system, including vision and dental care, prescription drugs not provided by a hospital, and home care.

Each year, Canadians spend an estimated $749 out of pocket on products and services such as over-the-counter and prescription medication, long-term care homes, and dental and vision care.

Sponsored: Tips for Investing

A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.