Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Single payer health insurance, basically, is universal health care. It is when medical costs for a population are all paid out of a pool of money collected from different contributors. The following article will discuss single payer health insurance in more depth.

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How does a single payer health insurance work?

Single payer health insurance allows several different entities including individuals, employers, the government, and organizations to pay insurance premiums into a single pool. This money is put into one fund to pay the health bills of a group of people or of a population. Typically, the government is the one who keeps the funds and controls the pool, but private organizations can do so as well.

The system that is developed under single payer health insurance can contract with different health care organizations, hospitals, clinics, and doctors. Or, the system can hire its own medical personnel and facilities.

This is sometimes called socialized medicine. Australia, Canada, England, and several other countries all use a version of single payer health insurance and have been successful at providing health coverage for their citizens. However, because of the pool funds, long waiting lists are often a problem in these countries.

The United States has a small scale single payer health insurance system through Medicare.

Though it is not for an entire population, it still works on the same principals. Senior citizens 65 and older pay into one pool called Medicare. In turn, the government contracts with many different healthcare organizations and facilities across the country to meet the medical needs of those who pay into the pool.

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Money in Single Payer Health Insurance

Single payer health insurance systems can be simple or complex depending on how the medical care is paid for and provided.

Physicians and other medical professionals do not make as much money in single payer health insurance systems; however, malpractice insurance tends to be much lower and consistency of patients much higher.

Some doctors who receive their education in countries with single payer health insurance systems come the United States to work because the income potential is so much greater.

Pros of Single Payer

There are many pros and cons of single payer health insurance systems. The debate has been going on for many years in governments around the world, but in recent years it has become a hot topic among government officials in the United States.

One of the pros of a single payer health insurance system is universal care.

The United States has an uninsured population that out numbers that of any other country with a healthcare system. The overwhelming majority of these uninsured individuals are uninsured because they cannot afford health insurance.

A single payer health insurance system does not mean that health care is free; however, it is much more affordable and there is no chance of being denied treatment because of lack of coverage.

This is the single most important positive aspect of single payer health insurance. The population that resides within the pool is taken care of no matter age, income, or ability to pay. This evens out the level of care as well giving the rich and the poor the same access to health care professionals.

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Cons of Single Payer

The single payer health care cons include complaints about single payer health insurance wait times.

This is due to the fact that there are fewer health care professionals in this type of system and there are more patients in this type of system. Since care is not specialized based on types of plans, co-pays, and out of pocket expenses, everyone waits in line to be seen.

This means that a person with stage one cancer can be on a waiting list so long, that their cancer turns into stage two cancer. This causes some patients to seek treatment elsewhere which again becomes an affordability issue.

The United States is still far from becoming a single payer health insurance nation, but the debate continues. Though the debate continues, it is important to note, that you can find affordable health insurance and affordability should not be the reason you don’t look for a suitable plan.

Use an online comparison tool to compare different health insurance rates and what various companies have to offer. Don’t go without coverage.

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