MRI scans for heart disease patients will be covered by medical insurance next year
Minister of Health & Welfare Chin Young announces plans to expand the
medical insurance coverage of patients suffering from four major illnesses on June 26.
Medical treatment and medication for patients suffering from four major illnesses will be covered by the National Health Insurance Service Program by 2016, the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) said. Insured patients will have to pay only 5 percent to 10 percent of total medical costs.
For instance, a person whose name was not disclosed received medical treatment on seven occasions after undergoing an operation for colon cancer. His total medical fees swelled to 16.25 million won because the expensive medicines for treating colon cancer were not covered by medical insurance. Those suffering from four major diseases – cancers, heart diseases, cerebrovascular disorders, and incurable ailments – like the aforementioned patient will see their medical fees plunge to just 980,000 won in 2016 when essential treatment and medication for such patients are put on the list for reimbursement of medical bills.
The ministry announced a plan on June 26 to have radiation therapy, anticancer treatment, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans, genetic testing, and other treatments considered essential for patients suffering from the four major categories of illnesses covered by medical insurance by 2016. The ministry has yet to come up with details for the many things to be included on the list for reimbursement. As early as this October, ultrasound examinations for patients suffering from four major illnesses will be covered by medical insurance.
MRI scans for heart disease patients will be covered by medical insurance beginning next year. The medical coverage of MRI scans is now offered only to patients suffering from cancers and cerebrovascular disorders.
Position emission tomography scans and leukemia medicines, each costing patients 320,000 won, cancer medications exceeding more than 4 million won per month, and radiotherapy that can be readjusted according to intensity will have medical insurance coverage expanded or be put into the list for reimbursement of medical bills during next year.
In addition, catheters for removing brain blood vessel clots and others will be covered by medical insurance during the period between 2015 and 2016.
Patients suffering from the four major categories of illnesses will be charged only between 5 percent and 10 percent of the medical fees for the essential medical services.
This will translate into a drop of 43 percent, or an average of 650,000 won from 1.14 million won per patient on their medical bill.
The government plans to set aside 8.99 trillion won for the expanded medical coverage during the period between 2013 and 2017.