August 30, 2022

Updates on Health Care System in Korea

Starting 1 September 2022 the National Health Insurance(NHI) will change its calculation method for self-employed insured from a point system to a premium rate system.

This posting is relevant to those who are thinking of doing freelancing work in Korea. The social insurance rate changes every year, and its impact is getting bigger than ever.

When you get married to a Korean and live in Korea with F-6 VISA, you will get a letter from NHIS notifying you to pay health insurance premium. The commencement date of national health insurance coverage is the date of your arrival in the country. This is the same for other VISA holders of the following types: Students(D-2), General Training(D-4–3), Non-professional Employment(E-9), and Permanent Resident(F-5)

You can opt-out of this health insurance by applying for being a dependent member of your spouse’s coverage, if your spouse is a salaried worker. But if your spouse doesn’t work at a company but also works as a freelancer, then both of you have to pay the health insurance as self-employed insured.

If you enter Korea with a VISA type other than the above, you will start paying health insurance on the 7th month of stay in Korea.

It is important to understand the basic contribution structure of the National Health insurance in Korea. There are two kinds of health insurance insured, employee insured and self-employee insured.

Source: Contribution Rate < National Health Insurance | 영어 사이트 (

✅ The biggest difference between these two types of insured is the premium calculation base.

Employee insured pays the insurance on gross salary income multiplied by a premium rate, whereas self-employed insured pays on three items (i.e. yearly income + real estates including residential house + automobiles earned by or owned by members of the household)

Another difference is the premium calculation method.

Employee insured pays 6.99% of his gross monthly salary, but self-employed insured pays based on the points, which is much more complicated to estimate than the employee insured.

Starting from September 1, 2022 the self-employed insured contribution calculation on household income is changed from the point system to the premium rate system.

Also, from September 2022 a threshold income level for being a dependent of a family member’s health insurance coverage is introduced as KRW 20MIL per year.

Hence if you are working as a freelancer and your reported income after expense deduction is more than KRW 20MIL, then you are no longer able to stay as a dependent of your spouse’s national health.

Written by Ara Jung (CTA)

All information provided is of limited scope and not exhaustive or comprehensive of any subject. It is not intended to be legal advice, and should not be used in place of consultation.

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