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‘Mooncare’ needs budget of W34.6 trillion, think tank says
  • By Choi Gwang-seok
  • Published 2017.09.18 10:22
  • Updated 2017.09.18 10:38
  • comments 0

The so-called “Moon Jae-in care,” or a drastic plan by President Moon Jae-in to overhaul the South Korean healthcare program, needs at least 34.7 trillion won ($30.6 billion) of financing, a think tank said Monday.

Medical Policy Research Institute, the Korean Medical Association’s idea factory, said in a report that the cost to cover “Mooncare” is estimated to be 4.18 trillion won higher than the government’s estimate of 30.61trillion won.

The government’s healthcare overhaul plan includes spending 7.84 trillion won to turn three uncovered medical expenses into covered ones, 11 trillion won to revise preparatory and selective coverage, 3 trillion won to lower maximum individual medical payments for low-income earners, 7.3 trillion won to alleviate financial burden on vulnerable households, and 1.27 trillion won to expand the diagnosis-related group payment system.

However, the KMA’s research institute said converting three uncovered medical expenses into covered ones will need an additional financing of 1.28 trillion won. Lowering financial burdens for vulnerable households will also require an additional 2.47 trillion won to the government’s plan, which would include cutting the elderly’s spending for dementia, dental care and reducing the financial burden on households with children for their hospitalization and dental care.

Altogether, the “Mooncare” will need an additional spending of 4.18 trillion won, the think tank said.

“Our estimate is a result of calculating only available items that were included in the government’s plan to enhance the national health insurance. The rest, which was difficult to be estimated or the government didn’t mention in detail, would cost even more,” the KMA’s institute said.

“If we consider that the government’s plan reflected only parts of additional budget increases on medical payment growth under the impact of aging and more frequent use of medical services, the government’s estimate may be excessively small,” it said. “The government should come up with a more detailed estimate.”

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