News Life and Health18 Jun 2018

South Korea:Higher income groups to pay more for national health insurance

18 Jun 2018

Koreans with a monthly income over KRW4.49 million ($4,170) will pay more for their national health insurance benefits, the National Pension Service (NPS) has announced.

A total of 2.44 million people, or 13.6% of National Health Insurance subscribers, will start paying an additional KRW900 to KRW17,100 every month from July depending on their income, reports Yonhap News Agency.

The change will be applied for one year up till June 2019, the NPS said.

Under existing rules, South Koreans are required to join the system, and foreigners living in South Korea can also apply for coverage. The number of people who are covered by the National Health Insurance system reached 52.43 million at the end of 2017.

The scheme will provide greater medical coverage for people in low-income brackets starting in July, health officials said.

A total of 4.51 million households with less than KRW1 million ($950) in annual income will pay the minimum amount of KRW13,100 per month for the National Health Insurance system, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the National Health Insurance Service. 

The changes are being made as the government has vowed to greatly expand medical coverage by the state-run healthcare programme in line with its efforts to reduce the financial burdens of patients.

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