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Government pushes ‘automatic claims’ for medical indemnity
  • By Kwak Sung-sun
  • Published 2017.11.24 14:18
  • Updated 2017.11.24 14:18
  • comments 0

The government said it would push to help Koreans automatically file their medical indemnity insurance claims, and start a pilot service at three hospitals in the Seoul metropolitan area next month.

The Ministry of Science, Technology and ICT and the Korea Information Society Agency said they had established a “blockchain-based automatic service to request medical indemnity insurance claims,” jointly with Kyobo Life Insurance.

About 65 percent of Koreans currently subscribe to 34 million medical indemnity insurance policies. To claim medical indemnity insurance money, subscribers first pay the medical bill to the hospital. Then, they request the hospitals to issue the medical bill receipt and a copy of medical examination. Along with a formal request, they submit all the necessary documents to their insurer via fax, mail, on the Internet, or by directly visiting.

Due to the complicated steps, many subscribers simply give up requesting insurance claims if their claims are too small to go through the hassle.

According to the Korea Insurance Research Institute’s 2015 survey, a whopping 51.4 percent of 1,200 adults gave up medical indemnity insurance claims for medical costs under 10,000 won per person.

The government’s pilot service will enable subscribers to quickly request insurance claims by automatically certifying request forms and copies of medical records with blockchain technology.

Blockchain, also called public transactions book, refers to technology to prevent cyber attacks that can occur in bitcoin transactions. Financial companies have used to save subscribers’ data in their centralized servers, but blockchain sends all transaction data to all users and blocks data fabrication by cross-checking all related data in each transaction.

For example, if a subscriber notifies the hospital of an automatic insurance claim during the payment of medical bills and selects necessary medical records to send them to the insurance company through a smartphone application, the request for an insurance claim is completed.

Depending on the certification results through the blockchain-based service where subscribers, insurers, and hospitals participate in together, the subscriber will know whether the insurance claim will be available. All of the procedures will be transparently recorded on the blockchain.

From December, the pilot service at three hospitals in the Seoul metropolitan area will be provided to some of the subscribers of Kyobo Life Insurance. Depending on the results and discussion among businesses, the service might be expanded to midsized and large hospitals across the country, the government said.

“The pilot service is a good example that blockchain can play an important role in tackling the issues that are relevant to the public's lives, said Choi Young-hae, director-general of the ministry’s Internet Convergence Policy Bureau. “We hope the public can get their insurance money through the automatic insurance claim service.”


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