When going to the hospital, be prepared to bring someone who can translate for you or choose a medical center for foreigners where language will not be a barrier. As some hospitals accept only certain types of credit cards, you may also need to prepare a certain amount of cash. Bear in mind that your health insurance cards do not serve as pre-paid cards.
If you subscribe to national health insurance by paying a certain amount of premium every month in accordance with your income level, you can use medical services relatively cheaply when you are sick or pregnant.
Those eligible for health insurance
- Foreigners who have completed alien registration, work at a company providing its employees with health insurance or remain employed as a public servant or teacher, or who can subscribe to workplace health insurance. If not falling into any of these categories, he or she can apply for regional health insurance. In this case, any foreigners who have stayed in Korea for more than three months or are sure to remain in Korea for more than three months due to study or employment are allowed to subscribe to health insurance.
- If a spouse is on a workplace health insurance program, the other foreign spouse can be covered by listing them as a “dependent” on their national health insurance(Required documents: proof of marriage, a copy of alien registration certificate, a copy of spouse’s citizen registration card, a copy of family relation certificate).
- In the case where a foreigner is employed, he/she is automatically obtains health insurance. The company has to submit the foreign registration certificate and other necessary documents to the National Health Insurance Corporation
- If both spouses remain unemployed, they can subscribe to regional health insurance(Required documents: certificate of alien registration, application)
Health insurance subscribers can receive medical treatment relatively cheaply, though they must shoulder part of the medical costs. They also can receive a full medical examination every two years.
※ For more detailed information about health insurance fees, qualification criteria and benefits, please refer to the National Health Insurance Corporation’s website (nhic.or.kr), call 053-650-8900 to make an enquiry or visit your local/closest branch.