A group of ruling party lawmakers is moving to revise laws in ways to require all qualified foreign residents here to take out national health insurance. The proposed revision also calls for withdrawing insurance benefits to expatriates who default insurance premiums.
Rep. Kim Sang-hee of the Democratic Party of Korea has recently proposed an amended bill of National Health Insurance Law representing the governing party.
“The current law stipulates foreigners who have lived in Korea for some time or are expected to do so should buy health insurance through the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS),” Kim said. “In reality, however, many foreigners have selectively bought the insurance only when they fall ill gravely and benefit from the hefty coverage.”
Such acts have raised issues about inequity between Korean and foreign subscribers, the ruling party lawmaker added.
“Another problem was the widespread defaults of premium payments by expats. NHIS officials have often experienced collecting overdue premiums as they do not know the exact financial status of these foreign clients,” Rep. Kim added.
The proposed amendment aims to introduce compulsory subscription to health insurance by foreign residents while blocking the “financial leakage,” Kim said. “All this is aimed to ensure equity between local and foreign subscribers,” she added.