1/12/2008

Exemption From National Health Insurance Plan

Exemption From National Health Insurance Plan

Appeared in the Korea Times on January 10, 2007

Dear Professor Hayes:

I am an American working for a company in Korea. My company and I pay for a private insurance policy, but I also pay for the Korean National Insurance Plan. I found that last month premiums drastically increased and I think it is unfair for me to have to pay for two insurance plans when one of the plans I will never use. Can I and the many other foreign workers in this situation avoid paying for the two insurance plans by canceling the government plan? How can I do this? Paying Twice in Seoul.

Dear Paying Twice:

A revision to the enforcement decree of the National Health Insurance Law came into effect a few months ago. The revision allows for foreigners and Korean nationals that reside abroad to avoid paying into the National Health Insurance Plan if they have alternative insurance coverage.

The insurance premiums, over the last few months, have drastically increased. Employees and employers can feel a not insignificant savings by simply filing a few documents with the National Health Insurance Corporation.

All good law firms in Seoul have notified their clients of this change, since in many cases it can relieve a sizeable burden on companies and employees.

Prior to the amendment many foreigners working for companies in Korea contracted for private insurance plans that covered more than the government insurance plans, thus, many would forgo use of the government insurance plan, but still would be required to pay into the National Health Insurance plan.

To alleviate this burden and also the burden on Korean nationals that reside abroad the revision was made.

To avail of this exemption from payments your employer may simply file with the National Health Insurance Corporation a statement signed by the employee that he or she wishes to withdraw from the health insurance plan and include with the documents information related to your health insurance plan.

For contact information for the local office of the National Health Insurance Corporation please visit: http://www.nhic.or.kr/eng/

_____
SeanHayes@ipglegal.com