National Health Insurance
National Health Insurance
Korea operates a national health insurance system in which each enrollee pays a monthly health insurance premium based on his/her income and properties. By enrolling in the national health insurance program, you can use the services at medical institutions at relatively low cost for medical treatment, child delivery, etc. and receive regular health check-ups. All Korean citizens must be enrolled in national health insurance, except for medical benefit recipients.
Foreigners subject to national health insurance subscription
A person who has completed the alien registration and who works in a workplace subject to national health insurance enrollment or is appointed or hired as a public servant or teaching staff must enroll in the employee insurance program. A person who has completed the alien registration and who falls under attached Table 9 of the Enforcement Rule of the National Health Insurance Act, excluding the employee insured and their dependents, must enroll in the self-employed insurance program when they stay in Korea for more than 6 months. However, foreigners with other types of health insurance equivalent to the national health insurance Korea according to a foreign law, foreign insurance, or contract with their employer, may be exempted from enrolling in national health insurance.
How to sign up for national health insurance
- If your spouse is enrolled in the employee insurance program
- You can register as a dependent* under your spouse’s health insurance policy. In this case, you must submit the necessary documents to the National Health Insurance Service to verify your eligibility.
* Required documents : dependent qualification notification, a copy of your alien registration card, family relations certificate (a family relations certificate issued by a foreign government must have been verified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of that country (or apostille) and be provided with a translated copy in Korean)
- If you are a foreigner working for an employer that must register for national health insurance
- If you work for an employer that must register for national health insurance, you will be automatically enrolled in national health insurance. In this case, the company must submit a copy of your alien registration card and the necessary documents to the National Health Insurance Service.
- If you (foreigner) and your Korean spouse are both not employed
- If you live in Korea for more than 6 months, you will become automatically enrolled in national health insurance (immediately upon arrival in the case of marriage immigrants and international students).
Payment of health insurance premiums
- For the employee insured
- It is deducted from the monthly salary paid to the enrollee by the employer.
- For the self-employed insured
- If you are a foreigner, you must pay the premium for the month by the 25th of the previous month (however, the premiums incurring as a result of retroactive application are added to the initial premium). The premium calculated according to your income and properties is below the average, the average of the premiums paid by all enrollees as of November in the previous year will be imposed.
- Permanent residents with an F-5 or F-6 status must pay their premiums by the 10th of the following month according to the same imposition standards applied to Korean citizens.
Penalties for payments arrears
- If a foreigner who is enrolled as self-employed insured does not pay the premium by the 25th of the previous month, the insurance benefits will be restricted from the 1st of the following month until all the premiums are paid in full.
- If there are any unpaid health insurance premiums or other collections for health insurance, the visa can only be extended for up to 6 months. If the foreigner fails to pay by the due date more than three times, the Ministry of Justice may place restrictions on their visa renewal.
- In case of failing to pay KRW 500,000 or more in health insurance premiums or KRW 100,000 or more in other collections, the delinquency will be reflected in the review of the visa application (notification) by the Ministry of Justice.