Starting next month, Korean national health insurance will apply to ultrasounds of the kidneys, bladder, lower abdomen and urinary tracts.
Until now, state insurance could only be used for ultrasounds on those parts of the body in cases of cancer, heart disease, cerebrovascular disease and certain rare diseases.
But according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, from February first, it will cover ultrasounds for all diseases, including kidney stones and appendicitis.
That'll reduce patients' out-of-pocket expenses to as little as 20 U.S. dollars, down from as much as 150.
Insurance will also cover follow-up scans for high-risk patients.