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Foreigners, overseas Koreans got less health insurance benefits than premiums


Contrary to assumptions that foreign nationals and Korean citizens residing abroad are free riders of the state health care system, they paid more in on average than they took out in terms of health insurance benefits.

In 2018, some 946,745 foreign and overseas residents subscribed to the state health insurance plan, and paid a total of 1.01 trillion won in premiums, according to data from the National Health Insurance Service.

This translates into an average of 1.07 million won a year per person.

The insurance benefits they received in using local hospitals and pharmacies in 2018, however, amounted to 776.7 billion won, or an average of 820,389 won per person.

The national health insurance plan for foreign and overseas Korean subscribers marked fiscal surpluses of more than 200 billion won each year from 2015 through 2018.

The number of foreign or overseas Korean subscribers surpassed 1.21 million last year under a new measure that requires those staying in Korea for more than six months to subscribe to the national health insurance plan.
By Kim So-hyun (