South Korea is preparing to introduce compulsory subscription to the national health insurance program for expatriates who stay six months or more in Korea.
Since July 16, foreigners and Koreans with foreign nationality who have resided in the country for more than six months must register with the state health program and pay monthly premiums. The change aims to prevent foreigners from taking advantage of the health insurance program to get expensive treatment and leave the country.
It would be a big burden for students in developing countries.”
Bonuses will be based on their income and wealth. If the bonus is set below the average of all subscribers in November of the previous year, the bonus will be determined at the median. In November last year, the average monthly health insurance premium was 113,050 won ($94.5).
A delay in payment of insurance premiums will not only limit the health insurance benefits, but also the extension of the visa.
“The National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) had a surplus of 9 billion won in the operation of the program for foreigners in 2017. This means that foreigners had fewer treatments covered by the insurance than they could They have little to do with the NHIS suffering from a deficit,” said Sung Baek-gil, senior director of the NHIS Eligibility and Taxation Department.
South Korea’s new initiative for long-term expats comes shortly after the Thai government announced a similar but more expensive health insurance requirement for its expat community.
The revised rule will also affect the country’s 140,000 international students. While to date most international students have used private health insurance policies that cost between 100,000 and 110,000 won (US$85-94) a year, the new rule will require them to join the health insurance system. state insurance, which can cost around 678,000 won. ($570) per year.
the Korea Timetables reported that universities have requested an exemption for students, with an online petition on the Cheong Wa Dae receiving more than 30,000 signatures.
The number of international students at universities and colleges in South Korea reached 142,205 last year, with Chinese students making up the largest number, followed by Vietnamese and Mongolian students.
According to a report, around 100,000 of these students will be affected by the new rule.
“It would be a heavy burden for students in developing countries,” a university official said in the online petition, adding that while the public insurance system offers greater benefits than private policies, the most young students would not need extensive health care.
The government was seeking a solution with the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Education, Baek-gil said.
“In Germany, foreign students pay around 120,000 won in insurance premium per month. We will find out how much premium other countries charge foreign students,” he added.
The Ministry of Education has indicated that it will ask the Ministry of Health to exempt foreign students from the obligation to subscribe to the national health insurance system.
Most international students in the country use a private insurance program through their universities and pay around 10,000 won in monthly insurance premiums.
Subscribe to International Investment’s free twice-daily newsletter