Health Policy Manag.  2020 Jun;30(2):192-198. 10.4332/KJHPA.2020.30.2.192.

Korea National Health Insurance Service Financial Status and Prospect

  • 1Department of Public Health, Yonsei University Graduate School, Korea
  • 2Institute of Health Services Research, Yonsei University, Korea
  • 3Department of Preventive Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Korea National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) is operated as a social insurance system in which people pay a portion of their monthly income as insurance premiums and receive benefits when they experience illness or injury. Since 2005, the national health insurance remained surplus accumulating cumulative reserves each year. However, as of 2018, NHIS revenue recorded 62.11 trillion won and spending of 62.29 trillion won. The deterioration of NHIS finances is expected to accelerate with the aging population, income growth, new medical technology development, and enhanced security policies.
To examine the financial health and sustainability of NHIS, we estimated the future revenue and spending until 2030 using the data from Korea Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service statistical yearbook. 2004–2018 average percentage change in NHIS revenue and spending was calculated. We estimated the future NHIS financial status using two methods. In the first method, we calculated the revenue and spending of the future NHIS by applying the 2004–2018 average percentage change to the subsequent years consecutively. In the second method, we estimated the future NHIS financial status after adjusting for the predicted demographic changes such as the aging population and declining birth rate in South Korea.
The estimates from this study suggest that the NHIS’s cumulative reserves will run out by 2024.
In terms of spending on current health insurance, there should be a search for ways of more efficient spending and funding options.


Korea National Health Insurance Service; Financial status; Financial sustainability
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