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National health insurance rate expected to go up next year

Health authorities are expecting a higher increase in the national health insurance rate in 2018 compared to previous years as the government and insurance operators begin adjustment talks, officials said Friday.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare is scheduled to convene a meeting of the national health insurance policy review committee to set the rate within this month, according to the officials. 

The rate for this year had been frozen at 6.12 percent of monthly salary or income.


The rate has been increased every year since 2005, except in 2009 and 2017. The increases up to 2011 ran as high as 4 to 6 percent but fell to under 2 percent since. The hike was adjusted down to 0.9 percent in 2016 after the reserve in collected insurance fees ran up to nearly 20 trillion won ($17.72 billion).

Officials said the increase for next year will likely be in the 1-3 percent band from the Moon Jae-in administration's policies to increase insurance benefits while lowering payments for the underprivileged from July next year.

Insurance operators agreed on a 2.28-percent increase in state coverage for medical bills for next year, which also would cause more spending by the government, officials said.

"The principle is that we will set the insurance rate in a range that will not put a heavier burden on the people," a ministry official said. (Yonhap)

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