South Korea is likely to freeze health insurance premiums for 2024, says Health Ministry
Health Insurance on Freeze: A Ray of Hope Amid Economic Hardships
According to new claim from the Health Ministry, South Korea’s state health premiums will be frozen due to a stable financial outlook for the insurance scheme. It is anticipated that this will be implemented in the forthcoming year, 2024. This will mark the first time in seven years since the last freeze on health insurance premiums.
Premium Rates: A Look into Current Statistics
As per the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the monthly premium rate for salaried employees will remain at a steady 7.09 percent. This will equally apply to non-corporeal subscribers. This decision falls in line with the government’s initiative to alleviate economic burdens on its citizens, particularly in the current climate of high inflation and raised interest rates.
Historical Decisions on Health Insurance Premium Rates
Over the course of time, this is the third instance of Korea freezing health insurance premiums, with previous decisions made in 2009 and 2017. The primary drive behind freezing health insurance premiums is the manageable state of the insurance system’s finances. Furthermore, it is a step to provide relief for the populace grappling with financial instability.
Health Insurance Scheme: A Mandatory Requirement
In accordance with Korean law, it is obligatory for Koreans to register for the insurance scheme. Foreigner residents also have the option to subscribe. This measure fortifies its citizens and permanent residents’ health and welfare protection, serving as an additional safety net during trying times.
A Positive Forecast for the Health Insurance Fund
The National Health Insurance Service provides a positive forecast with projected health insurance surplus reaching 1.97 trillion won, equivalent to approximately $1.46 billion USD, by the end of this year. Consequently, it is also predicted that the accumulated fund will amount to over 25.85 trillion won.
COVID-19 Impact: A Slump in Demand for Medical Services
The balance of health insurance has managed to stay in the black for the past two years. Unexpectedly, the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a decrease in the demand for medical services, significantly contributing to this positive financial situation. Health ministry officials also corroborate the influence of the pandemic on the financial maintenance of the health insurance scheme.
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