Moving to Korea can be a very exciting time in your life and for this reason you do not want it marred by something like the question of health insurance. Having the right health insurance in place is essential, we agree, but when it is so easy to sort out, why let it become a worry?
In South Korea, healthcare is very modern and very efficient. You can see practitioners of both Western and Eastern medicines and those who qualify for the National Health Insurance will be able to access both. Extra medical services such as dental care and other specialist fields are all readily available and in most cases they are very affordable.
Health Insurance for Expats Living in Korea.
As an expat you will be wondering if you will have any communication problems when you go to a hospital or clinic and in most cases the answer is no as there are plenty of English-speaking doctors and nurses but not all will, particularly if you are in one of the smaller towns, so be prepared to get help with translation!
So with the National Health Insurance will you really need Korea expat health insurance? You will be covered by the programme once you are registered with the local immigration office and you have received your registration card. This can take a little while to arrange. It should be noted that the NHI is a compulsory system and if a company has more than five workers from other countries they have to operate a health insurance programme that covers them. The employee is only responsible for half of the fees while the employer covers the other half. All you have to do is go to the nearest hospital with your ARC card and apply for an NHI card, which can be extended to cover family members too.
Day to day healthcare and emergency procedures can be covered with this type of healthcare provision. However, there are some conditions and medications that are not covered because of the sheer cost. This is when you need to consider private cover!
Private Korea expat health insurance can also be arranged and it is up to you if you want to have the peace of mind of this type of cover for you and your family. A chronic illness plan is a the perfect addition to your standard NHI cover so that you know that should you develop a serious illness, all aspects of your healthcare will be covered.
Korea Individual & expat family health insurance.
If you are working as an independent contractor during your time in Korea, you need to make some inquiries into how the NHI will work for you, as there will be no employer covering part of the cost. It is also a concern if you want to have the additional peace of mind of the additional private health insurance as you need to cover the cost of two types of health insurance. You need to be aware that the NHI does not cover all the costs of health care but only a percentage, which varies according to the type of consultation and treatment that you have. If you are travelling to Korea with your family as well as yourself you need to consider how you are going to meet these additional costs and private healthcare is the solution that you might need.
You should also have private healthcare in place if you want to use private hospitals and clinics as they are not obliged to accept your NHI coverage. Government-run facilities, on the other hand are obliged to take the card. You may also have to pay out a deposit for your healthcare that is not covered by the NHI card.
When you are using your Korea expat health insurance you should also be aware that hospitals and clinics will very rarely bill your insurance company directly so you have to pay for treatment up front and then claim back the costs. Always make sure that you have funds available to cover these costs just in case.
Korea Expat Health insurance for employers and groups
Employers are not obliged in Korea to enrol their expat workers into the health care scheme if they work less than 60 hours a month or if there are fewer than five foreign workers at the company. For this reason you need to have your own insurance in place.
However, some companies will offer private healthcare as part of the employment package so you may still get some healthcare coverage. Check on this before you arrive in the country and make sure you are familiar with any restrictions that there may be on the policy, such as the type of hospital or clinic that you are allowed to use and the type of treatment that is covered by the policy. Employers can often get good rates on policies that cover groups of workers and it makes sense for them to know that their employees have access to good quality healthcare exactly when it is needed.
To find out more about Korea expat health insurance talk to a member of our team today. Remember that our expertise lies in helping those who are starting a new life in another country – our policies can give you the peace of mind that you want for you and your family.