DEFINITION of 'Universal Health Care Coverage'
An organized healthcare system that provides healthcare benefits to all persons in a specified region. Many countries, such as Canada and Germany, provide universal coverage to all of the country's inhabitants, meaning that all residents are covered for basic healthcare services. In addition, an individual cannot be denied healthcare as long as he or she is a legal resident of the country that offers the universal coverage.
Also called universal healthcare, or just universal coverage.
BREAKING DOWN 'Universal Health Care Coverage'
As with any type of insurance, there are a large group of payers, and only a few need a large amount of money quickly at any given time. The more contributors there are, the lower the payments are. The United States is the world's only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not have healthcare accessible to all members of society through a universal coverage program.
Opponents have criticized this program over concerns that it would raise taxes, but proponents argue that it would provide healthcare to more individuals and decrease instances of bankruptcy due to medical costs.