Topics: Patient Education and Counseling via MedWorm.com

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National healthcare insurance programs differ both in how the money is collected, and in how the services are provided. In countries such as Canada, payment is made by the government directly from tax revenue. The collection is administered by government. In France a similar system of compulsory contributions is made, but the collection is administered by non-profit organisations set up for the purpose. This is known in the United States as single-payer health care. The provision of services may be through either publicly or privately owned health care providers.

Other countries are largely funded by contributions by employers and employees to sickness funds. With these programs, funds come from neither the government nor direct private payments. This system operates in countries such as Germany and Belgium. These funds are usually not for profit institutions run solely for the benefit of their members. Usually characterization is a matter of degree: systems are mixes of these three sources of funds (private, employer-employee contributions, and national/sub-national taxes).

In addition to direct medical costs, some national insurance plans also provide compensation for loss of work due to ill-health, or may be part of wider social insurance plans covering things such as pensions, unemployment, occupational retraining, and financial support for students.

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