South Korea: Insurance costs for panic disorder patients up by 61.5%

Health insurance costs for Koreans suffering from panic disorder, a common mental condition, jumped by 18.6% annually from KRW31.2bn ($26.87m) in 2014 to KRW61.6bn last year according to a Korea Bizwire report citing latest data analysis released by the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS).

This represented a significant 61.5% increase over the last five years.

At the same time, the number of patients visiting hospitals due to panic disorder has surged by 70.5% in the same time period with 159,428 patients last year.

Among them, women accounted for 86,010 which was 1.2 times higher than the number of men (73,418) and patients in their 40s comprised the largest age segment at 24.4% of the total.

Meanwhile, patients from their 30s to 50s accounted for about two-thirds of the total with 20.7% of them in their 50s and 18.5% of them in their 30s.

However, young patients saw the highest average annual growth rate from 2014 to last year. Patients in their 20s and teens grew by 24.5% and 18.1% respectively according to the NHIS report.

“The risk factors of panic disorder include a lack of socioeconomic resources, smoking, alcohol problems and stress-inducing incidents such as a recent divorce or separation,” said NHIS Ilsan Hospital professor Park Sun-young.

Panic disorder includes symptoms such as repeated panic attacks and treatments such as counselling especially cognitive-behavioural therapy according to Cigna Insurance research.



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