SEOUL, Nov. 13 (Korea Bizwire) — The national health insurance plan will begin covering surgery for severe obesity starting in January.
Once the coverage is in effect, patients will only have to disburse 1.5 million to 2 million won for surgical procedures that typically cost from 7 million to 10 million won.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare decided on Monday to cover various surgical procedures for patients with severe obesity. The insurance, however, will not be applied to suction lipectomy or other cosmetic procedures.
It will instead cover surgical procedures that will alter the course of digestion, such as sleeve gastrectomy and roux-en-Y gastric bypass, specially designed to treat obesity.
Patients with a BMI of over 35㎏/㎡ or those with high blood pressure or diabetes with a BMI of over 30㎏/㎡ will qualify for insurance coverage.
The South Korean government will also begin charging fees for the comprehensive treatment of obesity to foster an interdisciplinary environment where doctors from various departments gather to treat a patient with obesity, which will help prevent unnecessary surgeries and provide better post-surgery treatment.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)