SEOUL, April 4 (Korea Bizwire) — While factors like aging, environmental change and elevated levels of fine dust are driving up the risk of contracting illness, the fiscal burden of receiving healthcare is also continuing to rise with new medical technology and equipment being used in medical treatment.
This represents a real dilemma for households where one or more individuals may be suffering from a severe illness, as the average cost of 33 major surgeries has increased by 22 percent from 2011 to 2016, according to the Korea Life Insurance Association.
With the cost of heart surgery alone skyrocketing by 73.2 percent over the same period (cost per operation), the concern is that families may become “medi-poor” should a bout of ill-health strike.
Data shows that healthcare bills have already become considerably more sizable; the 27.5 trillion won in healthcare expenditures in 2008 nearly doubled to 54.6 trillion won in 2016. The number of individuals suffering from leukemia – sometimes referred to as an “expensive cancer” – and other serious illnesses increased from 2005 to 2015. In addition, 29.6 percent of all treatment expenses consisted of cases where one individual required medical care costing more than 10 million won.
To be better prepared in case such trying health problems arise, the Korea Life Association advises acquiring CI (critical illness) or GI (general illness) health insurance plans.
CI health insurance covers cancer, heart attack, stroke, burns, certain organ transplants and other conditions. GI health insurance covers only some of the conditions or offers less comprehensive assistance.
However, unlike other standard health insurance plans that can be used when diagnosed with a certain illness, the parameters in which CI health insurance can be applied are more specific, taking into account the severity of the illness. Therefore, the Korea Life Insurance Association urges consumers to be thorough when examining CI health insurance plans.