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Korea - Health insurance and the health sector (English)

A substantial change is occurring in the Korean health sector through the introduction of health insurance. Insurance coverage has been expanded gradually since 1977 and is scheduled to become universal by July 1989. Together with the expansion of insurance have come regulations with respect to the setting of fees, the expansion of medical schools and investments in health facilities. This set of insurance-related interventions is producing substantial changes in the health sector. This report studies the effects and implications of health insurance on the health sector, and suggests reforms that will help Korea meet its health care objectives in a cost-effective and equitable manner. Reforms are suggested both in the organization and design of the insurance system and in the regulations governing public and private investments in medical manpower and facilities.


  • Document Date


  • Document Type

    Pre-2003 Economic or Sector Report

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  • Country

    Korea, Republic of

  • Region

    East Asia and Pacific,

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  • Doc Name

    Korea - Health insurance and the health sector

  • Keywords

    access to health care;length of hospital stay;share of health expenditure;demand for health services;health facility;leading cause of death;manpower need;fee for service system;cost of health care;price elasticity of demand;per capita income level;supply of health services;public expenditure on health;general hospitals;health care system;composition of investments;medical service;health insurance system;medical manpower;cost escalation;health care facilities;structure of incentive;expenditures on health;health care facility;rate of growth;medical facility;gross income;public policy;competitive labor market;income distribution effects;public health concern;degree of decentralization;health care financing;national health expenditure;improving service delivery;incentives for providers;mandatory health insurance;pattern of behavior;administrative cost reduction;comparison of cost;economies of scale;affordable health care;cost of care;health manpower planning;private health expenditure;panel of expert;cost of treatment;capacity in place;Population and Health;wages and salary;category of health;inefficient resource allocation;negative income tax;supply of doctors;health care cost;health status improvements;per capita basis;local government official;types of care;competition among insurers;fee schedule;medical technology;community health;universal coverage;Medical technologies;insurance arrangement;rural area;quality care;international standard;private investment;mandatory coverage;Regulatory Bodies;cost containment;regulatory body;primary care;medical equipment;medical school;population group;medical need;government action;inpatient care;medical education;universal health;risk pool;insurance scheme;anecdotal evidence;fiscal responsibility;insurance mechanism;explicit subsidy;lifestyle choice;private return;medical expenditure;technology acquisition;outpatient care;capitation system;private expenditure;total compensation;utilization rate;clinical procedure;medical procedures;fee structure;clinical practice;high probability;work force;representative body;political power;public fund;large population;hospital sector;urban facility;urban location;delivery to locations;rural resident;Financial Access;primary clinic;secondary facility;asymmetric information;hospital service;physician services;special treatment;efficient outcome;discretionary power;tax fund;payment method;standard procedure;child delivery;manpower requirement;employer contribution;ensuring competition;disease prevalence;clinical studies;medical doctor;informational asymmetry;financial obligation;insurance function;provincial budget;existing technology;regional distribution;considerable difference;urban clinics;rural-urban migration;regional disparity;rural population;unified system;national university;private source;coinsurance rate;financial variable;intermediate level;income elasticity;rural society;regulatory structure;political decision;high premium;organizational structure;general practitioner;financial independence;public source;financing arrangement;potential danger;consumer choice;political negotiation;consumer demand;government decision;medical personnel;adverse selection;government regulation;healthy individual;poor health;good health;demographic trend;national budget;national authority;free care;Equitable Finance;statistical studies;rural farmer;urban worker;adjusted income;urban societies;financial control;basic package;market transaction;market evidence;income information;equitable manner;social consequence;heart transplants;insurance plan;hospital occupancy;induced demand;government approval;social value;private finance;financially independent;system design;government entity;regulatory intervention;tax financing;political pressure;tax system;fiscal control;urban household;Medical Insurance;handicapped people;population share;hospital financing;financial responsibility;specific issue;regulatory action;rising cost;medical cost;medical problems;behavioral data



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Korea - Health insurance and the health sector (English). Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.