Moving to Korea > Health and Medical Services

Medical Insurance


Medical Insurance

The National Medical Insurance System Plan covers everyone residing in Korea and is a co-pay system priced at a percentage (~5%) of one’s salary – the employer and the employee each pay 50% of the premium, which is calculated from the first date of employment and deducted monthly. The benefit package for foreign residents is the same as that for Korean nationals meaning you will pay 20% to 50% of the treatment received at a hospital or medical clinic and 30% of the charge for prescription drugs. Even if you are self-employed you are expected to enroll in the national health insurance plan.

All companies in Korea with 5 or more  employees are obliged by law to enroll their staff in the Workplace Medical Insurance program that also covers the worker’s spouse and children. For foreign employees the law reads that companies with 5 or more Foreign employees must enroll their foreign staff in the National Medical Insurance Plan.

Those who are not eligible for Workplace Medical Insurance can sign up for the alternate Community Medical Insurance program or self-employed insurance plan (this includes ESL instructors and anyone not covered by their employer).


The Korean government requires that all foreign workers have national health insurance coverage, regardless of whether or not they also covered by a foreign/global policy while in Korea. (Note: As of mid/late 2007, if a foreign national can show that he/she already has medical coverage, the choice of also paying for the Korean national medical insurance will be optional.  National medical insurance provides for a discounted cost on some medical services and procedures with the patient paying the balance. When using global insurance, the patient pays first and then submits a claim to her/his insurance carrier.

There is no specific list of what medical procedures are and are not covered by the national medical insurance plan. Therefore, you may want to check with your physician/health practitioner in advance to find out if the treatment is covered or not. (We also have co-payment information -  what is covered by the national health insurane system.) 

Applying for either Workplace or Community Medical Insurance requires the following documents:
1. alien registration certificate
2. certificate of current employment or employment contract
3. for F-1 or F-3 visa holders, a certificate that establishes the family relationship

Customer Service Telephone: 82.33.811.2000 (English) (covers Seoul, Gyeonggi Province, Incheon City, Gangwon Province). You can also contact this number to connect to other branch offices or to get their telephone numbers. Hours: 8AM to 7PM.

Please note that the above information is just a brief overview and is subject to change. For more details, go to the above links. Once you have, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the sections listed there.

K4E Editor: Korea4Expats.com tries to ensure that the information we provide is accurate and complete, so should you notice any errors or omissions in the content above please contact us at info@korea4expats.com.

Last Updated on 2017-01-10


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