SEOUL, Oct. 14 (Korea Bizwire) — Health insurance spending to cover smoking and drinking-related treatments reached 13 trillion won (US$11 billion) from 2016 through 2018, data showed Monday.
According to a report submitted to Rep. Jung Choun-sook by the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) for the ongoing parliamentary audit, annual expenditures, including insurance coverage and costs paid by individuals, exceeded 4.6 trillion won last year, up 16 percent from 2016.
Costs to deal with treatment for smoking and drinking made up some 8 percent of the 58.7 trillion won used by the NHIS on insurance payments for the whole of 2018.
By age bracket, health insurance payments provided to those in their 60s for smoking-related illnesses shot up over 11 percent from 2016 to 2018 to 5.76 million people receiving support.
For alcohol treatment, people in their teens and 20s saw the steepest rise of 35 percent and 31 percent, respectively, for the time period. Around 52,000 teens and 267,000 people in their 20s received insurance payments.