National health Insurance is divided into two main types: employee insurance (Workplace Health Insurance) and self-employed insurance (Community Health Insurance).
Employee insurance (Workplace Health Insurance)
Foreigners working for a company with more than five employees are eligible for workplace medical insurance. Spouses and children under the age of 20 of foreign employees can also receive medical insurance coverage.
The insurance is put into effect when employers enroll their employees in a medical insurance program. By law, the employer is responsible for submitting the employee’s application for national health insurance to the National Health Insurance Corporation (NHIC).
Health insurance coverage starts from the date of employment and ends with the date of termination of employment. By law, it has been mandatory for foreign employees at workplaces under the NHI to be enrolled for national health insurance since Jan.
1, 2006. However, the required enrollment has become problematic. For instance, many foreigners working in Korea have health insurance from their countries, and under this requirement they might have to pay two different health insurance fees, which can be a burden.
Taking this into account, the Ministry of Health and Welfare announced an additional revision to the National Health Insurance, and it has been in effect since July 27, 2007.
According to the revision, foreigners or overseas Koreans working in Korea who fall into one of the following categories can be exempt from enrollment of health insurance.
Self-Employed Insurance (Community Health Insurance)
Those not eligible for Workplace Medical Insurance are entitled to enroll for Community Health Insurance (self-employed insurance). For enrollment, a foreigner should submit an application to an NHIC branch office in his/her residential area with the required documents, including foreign registration card and passport.
You can visit national Health Insurance Homepage at http://www.nhic.or.kr for more information on the medical insurance or if you want to know the address and telephone number of the branch office across the country. Please contact 1577-1000