Ex-Health Ministry Assistant Minister Kim Takes Helm at NHIC

Hints at an overhaul of national health insurance

Kim Jong-dae, former assistant minister in charge of planning at the Health and Welfare Ministry (MW), on Nov. 15 took office as the president of KHIC, which had been vacant after his predecessor Chung Hyung-keun resigned on Sept. 16.
The new NHIC president hinted that the national health insurance regime, which was introduced 34 years ago, may be restructured so that office workers and self-employed businessmen can be applied under a unified guideline for determining their contributions.
Mindful labor's opposition of his appointment, Kim said in an interview, "NHIC, established in 2000 after consolidating workplace and district health insurance bodies, will be no longer divided into two again, and I understand that above all, how to determine contributions according to a unified income base regardless workplace and district health insurance subscribers, like aggregate income tax, is under consideration.
The MW said the new NHIC has an in-depth understanding and diverse expertise in the health insurance field. It said Kim played a role in introducing the health insurance system in 1977 and expanding the system to cover all people in 1989. He held positions at the MW, including the director of the Insurance Department, the director general of the Medical Insurance Bureau and the director general of the National Pension Bureau.

New NHIC President Kim Jong-dae delivers his speech at his inauguration ceremony at the NHIC headquarters in Seoul on Nov. 15.
Photo on courtesy of NHIC


NHIC Inks MOU in Health Insurance with Vietnam

National insurer shares experiences on the operation of a health insurance system with Vietnam

National Health Insurance Corp. (NHIC) has signed separate MOUs with the Vietnamese National Health Security Office (NHSO) and the Vietnamese Security Service Administration (VSS) to cooperate in the health insurance sector.
The signing ceremony that took place at the VSS headquarters in Hanoi on July 25 was attended by NHIC President Chung Hyung-keun, VSS president, VSS Vice President Nguyen Minh Thao and NHSO Deputy Secretary Weerawat Phancrut.
It was the third time the NHIC signed an MOU with a health insurance-related organization of a developing country following similar deals with Thailand and the Philippines.
The NHIC decided to accept a request to sign an MOU on the introduction of a Korean-style health insurance system, made by a delegation from the VSS, which visited the NHIC in Seoul in April.
NHIC President Chung said in a speech at the signing ceremony his corporation will actively share its experiences related to the operation of the Korean health insurance system with Vietnam, which is striving to build its own health insurance system.
Vietnam is keen to reach a deal, as the Southeast Asian country wants to emulate Korea's experiences in the operation of a health insurance system and IT expertise with the goal of introducing a health insurance system covering all of the Vietnamese people by 2014 in order to mitigate income inequality and promote a better quality of life.
The agreement calls for the NHIC to provide support to Vietnam in introducing a health insurance system along with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) under an Official Development Assistance (ODA) project.
NHIC plans to offer policy consulting to Vietnamese government officials and related programs to transfer its experiences and knowhow so that Vietnam can build a health insurance system rapidly. Korea's health insurance system has gained attention as a subject of benchmarking due to its performance efficiency from social security experts and international organizations, and it is now being exported abroad.
Lee Ki-hyo, president of the Health Insurance Policy Institute, who oversees the project, said a health insurance system tailored to meet Vietnam's conditions will be established within the next two years by capitalizing on Korea's rich manpower well-versed in health insurance theories and practices. nw

NHIC is set to provide support in helping Vietnam introduce its own health insurance system. Seen is NHIC President Chung Hyungkeun, who signed an MOU with Vietnamese health security authorities.
Photo on courtesy of NHIC

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