Foreign subscribers to South Korea's state health insurance programme numbered about 1m in 2018 as more foreigners stayed in the country.
The number of foreign subscribers, including South Koreans living abroad, stood at 971,199 as of end-December last year, or 1.9% of the total subscribers tallied at 51.07m, reported Yonhap News Agency citing data from the National Health Insurance Service. The figure represents a 68.4% surge from six years earlier.
The number of foreigners staying in South Korea reached 2.37m at the end of December last year, up 8.6% from 12 months previously.
With the number of foreign subscribers rising fast, the government has decided to strengthen the management of subscriber requirements to prevent foreigners from receiving medical treatment and leaving without paying insurance fees.
Starting in July, all foreigners who stay in South Korea for six months or longer will be required to sign up for the health insurance programme.