On a visit to Seoul St. Mary's Hospital Wednesday afternoon, President Moon met with patients there, and gave a speech on his plans to reform the nation's healthcare system.
"The most fundamental responsibility of a country is to protect the health and lives of its people. The new government will reinforce health insurance coverage so that with the least amount of worry people can be treated and have their health restored using a single form of insurance."
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President Moon pointed to four major things he wants to accomplish.
First and foremost, to expand the range of treatments covered by state-run insurance.
As of now, if a procedure is not on the government's list, the cost falls flat on the patient.
But the President says, under his government's plan, unless a treatment is clearly unrelated to a persons health, like cosmetic surgery, they will all be covered.
The government will also bring down the upper limit on an individual's co-pay, especially for those in the lower 30 percent income bracket,.. down to about 900 U.S. dollars a year.
Plus, the President said, emergency financial support worth up to 20 million won, or about 18 thousand dollars, will be available to those in the bottom half of income groups who contract a severe illness.
The reform is expected to lower the medical expenses of an average person by 18 percent, and by nearly 50 percent for those in the lower income brackets.
As for the cost, the President said the new benefits will require more than 27 billion dollars over the next five years.
According to the Blue House, about 9 billion will come from profits accumulated up 'til now from the operation of the healthcare fund and the government will shoulder the rest.
"As for concerns that insurance premiums will rise under the President's plan, he vowed to keep them at a minimum, saying he'll ensure they rise no faster than the average rate over the past ten years.
Hwang Hojun, Arirang News."