In Korea, a new law is going to pass related to international students in which they have to register themselves in the state healthcare insurance system from the coming July. This will become compulsory for every international student to pay a high insurance fee to state directly rather than through their universities.
The law will impose on fresh international students and also for those who have lived in Korea over six months are expected to pay high medical insurance cost from July 2019.
Universities have given private medical insurance currently to their international students in Korea. Government is imposing another type of insurance called the state-run insurance has repaid over 60 per cent of all necessary medical expenses while private insurance has insufficient coverage.
Private medical insurance is affordable for students because it takes around 10,000 won ($8.50) per month but state-run insurance is not affordable.
National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) is running a program, according to that students will give an estimated amount of 56,530 won per month for medical coverage. No doubt, this amount is very high.
In an online petition on the Cheong Wa Dae website, a university official said that to be honest, international students who come to Korea are not normally economically strong. He gives his opinion on this new expected insurance rule.
34,000 people have signed the petition related to this law on Sunday.
The official said that Plus, they will not let them continue their visa if they unable to pay their insurance bill despite the extremely abrupt increase in fees looks very harsh. The more officials said that the Ministry should reconsider the decision taking into account that the policy may even double the number of illegal foreigners.
This rule will apply not only on international students but will also apply to the one who will live in Korea for more than six months. The National Health Insurance Act has several changes and this rule is a modified part of that change. International students can be excused from the program if they did not feel its need or did not pay this much high cost.
In Korea, higher education institutions had enrolled almost 142,000 international students last year. This high pay insurance rule has affected at least 100,000 international students. These include two types of students, the ones who are long-term students trying to take a degree from Korean universities and ones who have taken part in job training and Korean language programs.
The behaviour of the Ministry seems rigid as they said that state-run health insurance and private insurance schemes currently are not interchangeable as they are used by international students. There is no sign shown by the Ministry to rethink at demand submitted by universities to create an exemption for international students.
International students will pay directly to the state rather than through the university, according to state-insurance policy.
International students who belong to countries like Iran and Ethiopia have faced trouble in opening bank accounts in Korea and cannot have automatic bank transfer. They have to visit the bank once a month to clear their status.
After international students will arrive in Korea, they will have a grace period of three to four weeks to apply and receive a foreign registration card.