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Poor and Chronically Ill in Korea Pay More for Healthcare

ditures, which was six times that of the highest income individuals. Among those with three or more chronic conditions, low-income Koreans had the highest out-of-pocket spending burden ratio, which was five times the spending burden among high income Koreans.

Recommendations for making the burden more equitable included: setting caps for low income individuals financial burden; determining premiums and copayments on the basis of income levels; expanding benefits; removing informal treatment charges; changing NHIs cost-sharing structure, and making upward adjustments in fee schedules and premiums for system sustainability.

These findings offer lessons learned for policy makers worldwide, particularly in the United States and middle income and low income countries pursuing health financing and insurance reform, Ruger said.


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