In the UK we have a very pure idea of what national healthcare means: free at the point of use for anyone who is resident in the UK. Whilst many other countries have their own versions of national healthcare usually there are very significant differences. The idiosyncrasies from healthcare system to healthcare system can be challenging, especially for expats who have recently moved abroad.
France, for example, has a very well respected healthcare system, and was recently voted as having the best healthcare system in the world by the World Health Organisation. It delivers universal care and is funded by required contributions. Because the government pays for around 70 percent of medical bills many citizens have a private plan or insurance too.
The healthcare system Germany is a little different. In Germany there is basically a national health insurance system and German citizens have to purchase one of around 200 private insurance plans, offered non-profit organisations. Those unable to buy into this system are eligible for public assistance, so there is a kind of universal healthcare.
In the US there is a different system altogether. Medical entities are private organisations, and most Americans under 65 have health insurance provided by their employer. However, a significant percentage are not insured (around 16%) and they either have to pay for care if and when they need it or seek charitable assistance.
Because of the differences between these systems many expats take out international health insurance such as expat medical insurance.