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State health insurer forecast to lose 1.2 tln won in 2018

2018/02/12 09:42

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SEOUL, Feb. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's national health insurance is forecast to post a fiscal deficit of 1.2 trillion won (US$1.1 billion) this year, the state-run health service provider said Monday.

According to a budget management plan by the National Health Insurance Corporation, the shortfall for this year is mainly due to a widening gap between income and expenditures in line with the government's new policy.

The Moon Jae-in administration has pledged to increase overall health insurance benefits while lowering payments for the underprivileged.

The deficit is ascribed to increased expenditures as the country moves to provide greater medical coverage for people in the low-income bracket. It will also cover more illnesses.

The country's health insurance has posted a surplus for seven years in a row, from 600 billion won 2011 to 700.7 billion won in 2017.