News Life and Health17 Jul 2018

South Korea:Free riders ditched in health insurance reform

17 Jul 2018

Starting 1 July, people with high income or significant assets will no longer be able to "free-ride" on the state-run health insurance programme.

A revised law set, which took effect 1 July, disqualifies them from being recognised as dependents of their sons, daughters or siblings registered as salaried workers under an employer-sponsored programme, which accounts for about 80% of the state-run National Health Insurance Service (NHIS), reports Korea Times. The remaining 20% non-employer-sponsored programme is comprised of the self-employed and the underprivileged.

The 350,000 people recognised thus far as dependents are among 840,000 households including the top 1% of income earners that will shoulder increased monthly premiums. Over 5.89 million low-income households will see their monthly premiums fall by KRW22,000 ($19.70).

The measure is part of a three-year welfare programme reform spearheaded by President Moon Jae-in, who pledged to better protect those who have been neglected thus far, increase access to quality welfare services and root out welfare fraud.

Under the measure unveiled by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, households with an income of below KRW1 million will pay only KRW13,100, the lowest monthly premium.



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