Foreigners paid 1.58 trill. in health insurance premiums last year


Foreign residents of Korea paid nearly 1.58 trillion won ($1.11 billion) in health insurance premiums, and the number of foreigners caught illegally obtaining insurance money fell significantly over the past year.

Based on analysis of data at the National Health Insurance Service, MP Koh Young-in of the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) said Thursday that the NHIS had collected 1,579.3 billion won from foreign residents — 1.11 trillion won from foreign residents Subscribers work for companies and 464.8 billion won from individually insured foreigners – last year.

Around 480,000 employees with 190,000 family members and 560,000 persons with personal insurance were among the foreigners who were required to have health insurance. The size of the dependents of foreign workplace subscribers was one-third that of Korean corporate subscribers.

The number of foreign health insured persons increased further from 889,891 in 2017 to 946,756 in 2018, 1,212,475 in 2019, 1,182,341 in 2020 and 1,237,278 in 2021.

The number of corporate subscribers and their dependents increased relatively little compared to the number of district subscribers, which more than doubled. The number of locally insured foreign subscribers jumped from 264,000 in 2017 to 564,765 in 2021. In contrast, the number of workplace subscribers increased from 443,760 in 2017 to 480,604 in 2021, and their family members increased from 182,131 to 191,909 over the same period .

In particular, it was confirmed that the number of illegal insurance money takings, which caused controversy about medical shopping, has also decreased significantly.

Cases of illegal receipt of health insurance funds by foreigners decreased from 185 in 2018 to 125 in 2019, 80 in 2020 and 50 in 2021. The total also fell from 199 million won in 2018 to 62 million won in 2021 and 46 million won in August 2022.

“The financial contribution of foreigners to health insurance premiums is significant,” Rep. Koh said. “The impression of medical purchases by foreigners should not be misled into representing the whole, as they are limited to only a few cases.”


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