Comparison of a Health Care System

Topics: Health economics, Medicine, Universal health care Pages: 4 (2577 words) Published: October 29, 2014

A Comparison of Health Care Delivery Systems: United States versus South Korea Excelsior College
The United States and South Korea have very different health care delivery systems. The United States currently operates under mostly private sector insurance programs stemming from employer-based policies while South Korea provides universal health care coverage to all of its citizens. The United States is currently transitioning their health care system to provide coverage for all. It took South Korea only 12 years to implement universal health care where it has taken the United States several decades. There is no health care system that runs perfectly. Both the United States and South Korea each have challenges they face within their current health care systems. Each system is funded differently and based on a different set of cultural values and beliefs. The system of health care delivery utilized by the United States is considered an imperfect market. According to Shi & Singh (2012), “even though the delivery of services is largely in private hands, health care is only partially governed by free market forces” (p. 11). The free market side of health care has the greatest impact in shaping the present US health care delivery system. The majority of private insurance is employer-based. The other part of the system is government-controlled through programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. The government also provides a small portion of our population such as military families and veterans directly. In comparison, in South Korea, there are three entities that comprise the health care system. The National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) provides care to all of its citizens. It relies heavily on the private sector health care providers. The Medical Aid Program covers only 3.7% of the entire population of South Korea. This part of the system covers those families that fall in the lowest bracket of income. The Long Term Care Insurance Program is the...

References: Chun, C.B., Kim, S.Y., Lee, J.Y., & Lee, S.Y. (2009). Republic of Korea: Health System Review. Health Systems in Transition, 2(7). Retrieved from:, C. (2013). Global Health Care: Issues and Policies. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Shi, L. & Singh, D.A. (2012). Delivering Health Care in America: A Systems Approach. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Song, Y.J. 2009. The South Korean Health Care System. JMAJ 52(3), 206-209. Retrieved from: Health Care Quality Review: Korea. (2012). Retrieved from:
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