Starting March, international students staying in Korea for more than six months will be obligated to subscribe to the national health insurance system and pay the premium.
On January 15th, the Ministry of Health and Welfare pre-announced the legislation and administration of the enforcement rules for the “National Health Insurance Act” and the “Health Insurance Application Criteria for Overseas Koreans Residing Long-Term in Korea,” with the review period ending on February 15th.
These will apply to international students who enter Korea for studies (D-2) and general training (D-4), staying for more than six months. From March 1, they must join the national health insurance system as local subscribers pay the insurance premium.
Considering that international students stay in Korea for educational purposes and do not participate in income-generating activities, the government had charged only 50% of all subscribers’ average premium rate. To reflect their difficulties due to COVID-19 and stabilize the system, the charge was lowered to 30% this year.
The rate will increase to 40% between March 2022 to February 2023 and 50% after March 2023.
International students (D-2), elementary, middle, and high school students (D-4-3) who are expected to stay for more than two years must take health insurance from the date of entry to avoid any medical gaps.
The same applies to overseas Koreans (F-4) studying in Korea for degree programs or elementary and secondary education. Other international students, such as those receiving language training, are subject to health insurance if they stay in Korea for over six months.
An official at the Ministry said, “We plan to improve the system during the pre-announcement period and provide guidance and publicity so that international students can join health insurance without the inconvenience and receive medical benefits.”
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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