March 14, 2019 08:25
The National Health Insurance Service posted its first deficit in seven years last year, it said Wednesday.
After posting an annual surplus from 2011 to 2017, peaking at W4.5 trillion in 2014, it went into the red with W177.8 billion (US$1=W1,133).
In July last year, state-funded medical coverage was expanded to include ultrasound tests and MRI scanning for more diseases, causing an increase of NHIS payouts.
Another deficit is expected this year as medical coverage will further include the treatment of rare diseases. While the expanded coverage reduces the financial burden on patients, the NHIS' mounting deficits are likely to pose a long-term headache for the government.
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