The National Health Insurance System as One Type of New Typology: The Case of South Korea and Taiwan

Year Published 2008
Business unit: Special Projects
Resource type: Case study
File type: PDF
Theme(s): Economic Development, Health, Social Development


Abstract A typology is the useful way of understanding the key frameworks of health care system. With many different criteria of health care system, several typologies have been introduced and applied to each country’s health care system. Among those, National Health Service (NHS), Social Health Insurance (SHI), and Private Health Insurance (PHI) are three most well-known types of health care system in the 3-model typology. Differentiated from the existing 3-model typology of health care system, South Korea and Taiwan implemented new concept of National Health Insurance (NHI) system. Since none of previous typologies can be applied to these countries’ NHI to explain its unique features in a proper manner, a new typology needs to be introduced. Therefore, this paper introduces a new typology with two crucial variables that are ‘state administration for health care financing’ and ‘main body for health care provision’. With these two variables, the world’s national health care systems can be divided into four types of model: NHS, SHI, NHI, and PHI (Liberal model). This research outlines the rationale of developing new typology and introduces main features and frameworks of the NHI that South Korea and Taiwan implemented in the 1990s.

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