Developments and general features of national health insurance in Korea

Social Work in Public Health
Kyo-Seong Kim, Young-Jae Lee

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine the unique features and current issues of National Health Insurance (NHI) in Korea and to propose future tasks and recommendations. NHI has improved the equity of insurance contributions and the efficiency of managerial operations by converting a society-based corporatist system with multiple insurers into a unified managed system with a single insurer. In addition, fast expansion of NHI coverage to the entire population has improved the national health security level due to better health care service accessibility. At present, NHI is facing questionable sustainability of its funding due to population aging and improvements in medical technology. In the future, NHI will need to reduce the co-payment rate by intensifying the health security guarantee and by enhancing the sustainability of insurance financing through an improved payment system.

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