All Foreigners Staying Over Six Months in Korea Must Sign Up For National Health Insurance Program

The National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) said yesterday that all foreigners who stay in South Korea for six months or longer will be required to sign up for the country’s health insurance program to prevent them from receiving medical treatment and leaving without paying insurance fees.

According to the operator of the state medical insurance scheme, under the new rules that take effect on the 16th of next month, all foreigners, including Korean expatriates residing in the country, should pay over 110,000 won (US$93) per month.

At present, foreigners who work here are required to pay for health insurance, and non-working foreign residents here can optionally subscribe to the scheme.

The NHIS said foreign students and those marrying South Korean nationals are also required to join the state insurance scheme.

The new mandatory insurance program is likely to affect some 400,000 foreigners.

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