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Is Health Insurance completely free for everyone in England?

I live in NY and I watched the movie Sicko. If you live in England, can you tell me how accurate it is in describing England Health Care system? Do you get money back for transportation to the hospital. No one is ever declined or ever billed?
Please be as detailed as possible, Thank You

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20 Responses to “Is Health Insurance completely free for everyone in England?”

  1. midnite rambler said :

    so stay there

  2. Phil K said :

    We don’t have free health ‘insurance’; we have free health care. That is, we don’t have to pay to see a doctor, or for an ambulance or an operation.

    That being said, many hospitals suffer extreme overcrowding and a lack of beds. Many people waiting for operations, unless immediately life-threatening, have a long, long wait ahead of them. Many people simply choose to go private and pay for it themselves, thus getting treated much sooner.

  3. Jenny said :

    Yes, it called the National Health and its free but Private is better if you can afford it

  4. john m said :

    Yanks always shout about having the best health care in the world, If your rich or have very good health insurance then it probably is, In the UK you can be a pauper and still get decent medical care. I know of many Health care tourists who abuse the system when visiting the UK from your country and your northern neighbour.

  5. Gary G said :

    Well, it’s socialized medicaine. It has its advantages and disadvantages. Healthcare is provided, but you might also pay taxes of 50%.

  6. Baldiemac said :

    Haven’t seen the movie. However health care over here is free although prescrptions for drugs are not (social exceptions). A few farsighted people have private health plans that they do pay for although you get the cover you pay for. There are advantages to this as consultation fees are paid by most plans and give the individual a ‘bump up’ the queue as opposed the indeterminate delays we get with appointments and treatment on the National Health service.

  7. tominator1uk said :

    Yes it’s Free. We have something called the NHS, where a bit of everyones taxes goes towards funding a universal health care system and budget. You are not charged for the Ambulance ride….do they do that in America, man that’s cheap!

    I will say though that the NHS is not as utopian or wonderful as it sounds. Often they have to be so strict with budgets that non-prioirity treatments are often put on a waiting list. Also some prescription drugs will not be subsidised by the NHS.

    For example people with a hernia, may be asked to wait a month to get it dealt with, because although its painful and uncomfortable, it’s not life threatening. Often in these cases people just deide to go to a private clinic and get it dealt with

    The NHS is only for actual medical treatment, so don’t think people are getting boob jobs or face lifts for free.

    p.s: your hot

  8. golden said :

    its free at the point of contact thats why the country is sinking

  9. blue_teen_queen said :

    Depends what you mean by transport. An emergency trip in an ambulance – of course they won’t charge you for that. If you make your own way to the hospital, though, that’s your own lookout. Most hospital car parks charge obscene rates to let you leave your car there. Half an hour can easily cost you £2. It’s only the actual healthcare that is free, even prescriptions have a standard rate of something like £6.50(though that is a flat rate) unless you are somehow exempt, say for being on benefits or over 65. But seeing a doctor and getting a diagnosis is free.

    Of course, quality is not guaranteed. When my sister broke her collar bone and complained of the pain to her GP he diagnosed a ‘neck virus’ and sent her away with penicillin.

  10. pampurredpuss said :

    No it’s not free.

    Everyone who works has to pay National Insurance and that is taken out of your wages every month to pay for your health care. Even if you opt to go private you still have to pay National Insurance which is currently around 6% of your wages. So the more you earn the more you pay.

    We also have to pay perscription charges for medicine which is £6.65 per item.

  11. Realdolby said :

    No its not free entirley we have to pay weekly contributions for the privelidges we receive.If the situation warranted it a taxi could be available for your transportation.But the system has been abused so badly it just isnt working anymore.But in comparison A young boy from FLA struck a cigarette lighter and it exploded in his face.He needed serious medical attention in NY city.He could not go until the funds were in place,collections were made over a 2 week period the boy died.,the money came too late. Can you justify that to me.

  12. grottybodkin said :

    I don’t know why people are saying that our national health service is free. I have paid National Insurance on my wages for many years, so that I could ‘enjoy’ this free service!

  13. Rainbow Daemon said :

    In the UK we have as system called the NHS. It’s a free (at point of delivery) health care system financed by taxation. If you visit this country and become genuinely ill or have an accident during your visit, you will be treated “free of charge”.

    Unfortunately, the system is abused in many ways. The least of the NHS worries come from some mediocre film.

  14. tara_365 said :

    Despite claims to the contrary, the NHS is free in Britain. It is funded through National Insurance payments deducted from our wages but it is free at the point of delivery. Private medical care in Britain is available to those who can afford it and who don’t wish to wait for an operation on the NHS. The fact that in many cases the same surgeons carry out both NHS and private work seems to have escaped people. Our ambulances are free and we even have a Patient Transport Service which will pick you up and return you home. This means we can avoid using ambulances to pick up people who are not needing emergency care. There are no bills handed out to patients for operations on the NHS as the costs are absorbed nationally.

  15. willow said :

    It may look it but We pay a tax when we are working, called National Insurance, and our employers pay one for every employee! This means we are entitled to ‘free’ treatment! this tax covers the dependents of workers too so no-one needs to be asked to prove they can pay. Transport is one thing that isn’t free or automatically provided, it’s usually arranged by the hospital staff or the patient. If physical needs require it. Emergency transport is provided in the same way it is there!
    We choose to go privately and pay and the more money people have the more likely they are to get very quick attention. Usually in the best ‘private’ wards. Those of us who earn too little can take out a private insurance that either provides ‘private’ care and pays the bills or pays out certain amounts of money to you to pay towards travelling expenses and loss of earnings and where available a private room in the NHS Hospital!

  16. thespoonmachine said :

    For English citizens health care is free. I’m 18 and have never once paid a single penny to be treated, even when I developed a life threatening disease as a child. I go to see a doctor whenever I have a problem that needs seeing to and get free dental care (including 6 monthly checkups). Although this may not be the case for all people, I have never had to wait long for operations and I have always found care to be exceptional. I don’t pay for drug perscriptions at the moment because I’m a student but will when I finish college, but even so it’s a small price to pay for what you get. The NHS was set up just after the second world war, has continued to grow ever since and is now the country’s biggest employer. I am very grateful to live in the UK and will never complain about the health proportion of the tax.

  17. welcome news said :

    If you are a UK citizen then in theory medical treatment is free at the point of delivery of the National Health Service (NHS). Again, in theory, taxpayers and their employers pay an amount ‘National Insurance Contributions’ (NICS) under our Paye As You Earn (PAYE) system (Taxes on income are paid by the employer on a monthly basis and deducted at source from the pay-check). Self employed people pay a different rate on a quarterly basis. (In practice NICS don’t cover the National Helth Service Costs so part of other taxation revenue goes towards it). The costs are about 11% deducted from the employee’s wage and about the same is paid by the employer on the employee’s wage.

    Emergency access to hospital (by ambulance) and treatment is all covered under these payments. Even if you are not a taxpayer (on low income) or a child there are no additional costs. If necessary transport can be arranged for hospital appointments – again at no cost. Non-emergency operations are handled in strict rotation with waiting lists depending on the availablility of services. (But see below)

    There are some expenses – for instance costs of obtaining prescription medicines (from a chemist (drug store?)), eye-sight tests have to be paid for but for people on low income/ minors again these are free. Currently there are problems in the dental side as there are very few dentists who work in the National Health Service – most are private.

    As well as the National Health Service, people may pay for private treatment (and optionally pay private health insurance). The advantage is that treatment is quicker. There are no tax benefits on buying private health insurance so in effect people are paying twice. Prvate Health Insurance is often offered as a ‘benefit in kind’ to attract skilled workers in some industries and self employed obviously have need of it to ensure that they do not lose their earning ability when needing non-emergency surgery.

    If you are unable to look after yourself due to age/ infirmity then the local authorities have a duty to provide you with care – this is payable provided you have the resources to pay for it e.g. a house as an asset may be sold – the government are so stingy that even if you give your house to your children or sell it and give the money away, they regard it as still being yours for this purpose. If you do not have the ‘means’ then care is ‘free’.

    Slightly different rules apply now in Wales/ Scotland e.g prescriptions in Wales are all free and the care costs are different in Scotland.

  18. Insurance said :

    It is not completely free, for those who are working they need to contribute to the National Health Insurance Scheme. The money will then be channeled to the NHS and other trust organisations that manage the health care services.

  19. indonesia store said :

    i think it was free. but at indonesia, its free too

  20. judy said :

    In Australia we all pay the medicare levy through the tax system. We can opt for private insurance if we wish, (& pay twice) but medical treatment is available free of charge for all who do not have private health insurance. Nobody here dies on the waiting list and nobody has to declare bankruptcy! The same doctors who provide treatment for the private sector also provide treatment for the public health system. I’d rather pay the medicare levy (we don’t even notice it) than be faced with a huge bill after an emergency operation!


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