Fears of COVID-19 are sweeping across the U.S. and all over the world, but we can’t guarantee when it will end, adding to the anxiety. On top of that, unlike Korea’s national medical insurance, the U.S. private medical insurance system has raised concerns over the situation in which uninsured people are reluctant to inspect and treat them.
Danni Askini, a resident of Massachusetts, has visited the hospital three times since late February with chest pains and high fever and was eventually diagnosed with COVID-19. However, she, who was not covered by medical insurance, released the bills for the examination and treatment she received on SNS around the end of March.
The cost of the COVID-19 diagnostic test she unveiled was $907 and the amount charged for treatment was $34,972. It will take another 10 years to pay back the amount, she said.
As such news became known, a statement of medical expenses recently released by a patient treated with COVID-19 has become a hot topic in South Korea.
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The patient received treatment at Busan Inje Daebaek Hospital for about 19 days and received treatment cost bill from the hospital, with the total cost of medical treatment was KRW 9.7 million won and the total burden of patients was KRW 1.4 million won. However, the amount was also covered by the Korean National Health Insurance. In the end, the patient paid nothing for the total hospital bills. This is because the government pays 100% for treatment according to “infectious disease prevention law”.
In other words, it already covers 80 percent by national health insurance and the Korean government pays the remaining 20 percent.
According to BBC reports, there are currently more than 27 million uninsured health insurance subscribers in the United States, which is about 9 percent of the total population in the United States.
Against this backdrop, Korean students studying in the U.S. and the other countries are rushing to enter South Korea, which is why the price of flights to Incheon International Airport is rising by two to three times.