Korea amends laws to prevent health insurance exploitation by foreigners

Some exceptions were still made to accommodate for spouses and young children

Korea amends laws to prevent health insurance exploitation by foreigners

Life & Health

By Kenneth Araullo

Regulations regarding health insurance dependents from overseas staying in South Korea have been tightened to a minimum period of six months as a response to foreigners exploiting the system.

Concerns have been growing over certain foreign nationals misusing the health insurance system by labelling their family members as dependents just to enter the country for medical procedures or treatment. Recently, statistics from South Korea’s healthcare insurance body revealed that Chinese nationals are overtaking other foreigners in healthcare benefits.

According to a Pulse News Korea report, the Health and Welfare Committee under the National Assembly passed a bill on Tuesday, stating that individuals who are not citizens must live in the country for a minimum of six months to be eligible for health insurance coverage as dependents.

There will be exceptions, however, permitting immediate health benefits for foreigners if their dependents are their spouses, young children, or if they possess specific residency statuses like marriage immigration, permanent residence, or studying abroad.

The initiators of this bill are Representatives Joo Ho-young and Song Eon-seok, both affiliated with the ruling People Power Party.

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