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national health insurance
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UnJef



Joined: 03 Jun 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2003 2:33 am    Post subject: national health insurance Reply with quote

I realize that there's been many threads about health insurance here, but I'm of the opinion that mine is a bit different...

I work at a small hagwan -- I'm the only native English speaker there -- and I've been working there about a month. When I first got here I told my director that I'm interested in getting the national health insurance that is mentioned in the contract. Instead of saying "ok," he went on and on about how he didn't think I would need it and that none of the six prior English teachers got it, etc. I explained that I didn't think I would need it, either, but that I would like to have it in case something serious were to happen. He told me he would look into it, and I left it at that.

After not having heard anything about it since I first mentioned it, I asked my director again today about the insurance, and he once again went on about how none of the previous teachers got it, but again said he would look into it... which I'm again assuming means I won't hear anything.

So, at this point I'm wondering how important it is to have insurance here. If I were to get in a serious accident, would the cost be much different with/without insurance? Could I just leave the country if worse came to worse? How much IS insurance here (I pay 50%, according to my contract), and is it worth the cost?

I realize that this is mostly a matter of cost/risk analysis, but I'm still interested in any responses you might have.

Thanks in advance...
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prairieboy



Joined: 14 Sep 2003
Location: The batcave.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2003 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been at my new hagwon for just under a month now and I'll probably be having this talk with my director very soon as when I was negotiating my contract I stated explicitly, that I wanted medical insurance.

At any rate, at my last hagwon I was being paid 1.9 mill gross pay. I was paying roughly 30000 won a month for insurance. I think it's worth it, especially since before I ever arrived in Korea, I had tonsilitis only once or twice before. Since arriving, I've had to battle tonsilitis regularly every four to six weeks. Plus, I picked up a viral eye infection while rafting and that acts up every four weeks or so. Needless to say, if it weren't for the insurance, I'd be paying two to three times what I pay in doctor's fees and medication.

I believe it's worth the peace of mind.

Press your director nicely. Does he cover you presently under his insurance? If so, he's got a deal worked out with local doctor, as my last boss had to begin with. Point out to him that you may wish to travel during your time off and if you get hurt, you may not be able to return to work for while unless you can get affordable and prompt treatment. Try to make him see that it's in his best interest to get the insurance. The possibility of losing you may be enough to get him to get his act together and get you insured.

I hope this helps you.

Cheers
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Derrek



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2003 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is what i know about it:

1. I have had it in every contract.

2. I've had to almost force the director to get it for me in all cases. They don't take initiative to do it. I had to take initiative and start the ball rolling myself recently, because it had been several months and still no insurance. But once I pushed, they did it.

3. Korean health insurance cost is based on 2 levels. It depends on how much money you make. One director I had created a fake contract to show i made less money per month, and that cut the insurance cost in Half or less! He wanted me to sign the contract for him, but of course, I said no way -- you fake it, but I'm not gonna sign it!

4. VERY IMPORTANT: The longer you wait, the more you will be asked to "Back Pay". Basically, when you get Korean Health Insurance, you have to BACK PAY for every day you DIDN'T have insurance. So if your alien card says you came here on July 1, and you're just getting insurance now, you'll have to BACK PAY for every month you were here -- regardless of if you even went to the doctor or not! And you won't get reimbursed for any past medical bills, unless they are within 1 week before getting the insurance (and then you have to take it up with your clinic/hospital to get anything back anyway).

So the rule is ... insist on it NOW, because it will cost more if you get it later. And mention the fake contract thing, as it is likely your boss will go for that.
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gajackson1



Joined: 27 Jan 2003
Location: Casa Chil, Sungai Besar, Sultanate of Brunei

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2003 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have always had national insurance in the past; Christina has had some crappy policy that covered herer for NONE of her expenses - including her emergency appendicitis surgery!!!

Now, we have a different problem: we are employed with a school that has only 3 full-time employees. So, insurance is a new headache to deal with.

How small is your school staff???

regards,

Glen
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canukteacher



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Location: Seoul, Korea

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2003 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it is in your contract then your Director should provide it, and you should be insistent.I've been here for 3 years, and have used mine very little. That being said, who knows when I might have to...........that is why it's called insurance. I don't think the size of the hagwon matters.

Good luck!
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UnJef



Joined: 03 Jun 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2003 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gajackson1 wrote:
How small is your school staff???


I am the only native english speaker at my school.

I asked my director about it again today, and he said that he had talked to other hagwan directors and that all that was offered was "accident insurance" for 30,000 won per year. He said that all the other insurances were for longer periods than I would be here for, so I couldn't get them. This can't be true, though... and I told him that I had heard differently, so he asked me to get phone numbers or whatever of companies that will insure me for a year (with perscription co-pay, office visits, accidents, etc...).

I have no idea what to do at this point. I need insurance, as I take a medication that will be rather expensive without it (I checked), and I'm not insured in the states currently.
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Derrek



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2003 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I worked near Gangbyeon (east side of Seoul on Green Line), I would have to go to the "Wedding Building", which was located one stop away at the Guui area. I'm not sure where my current employer needed to go to get mine. It differs, depending on where you live. There are several offices around Seoul. My first employer wasn't exactly sure what to do either, but they should be able to find out without too much effort.

Your employer is wrong. He's probably avoiding getting it for you, afraid it might draw attention to other illegal practices -- like illegally doing tax stuff at his school. I once had a director ask me to erase stuff on his computer in case the tax people came (he had two different sets of books). I told him it's best just to hide the whole computer, and I didnt want to get involved.
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marcy



Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2003 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There should be an Health Insurance Association in your district, the phone number for the office in my district is

02-2610-5555 (Guro-gu)

I'm sure if your boss calls them they can give him the number for the Incheon Office. Here is the name of the Association in Hangul, print it out for your boss, he'll have no more excuses then.

국민 건간 보청 겅단


Good Luck
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Raoul Duke
Guest




PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2003 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marcy, you will need to change your browser's encoding to Korean before typing in Korean. In Internet Explorer this can be done through the 'View' drop-down menu.
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Seon-bee



Joined: 24 Jan 2003
Location: ROK

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2003 6:28 pm    Post subject: website Reply with quote

Check out the national health insurance website. There's an English page, too. You can find out exactly what you need to bring with you.

I did it myself, didn't need anyone from the school. I brought a passport, copy of my contract, and certificate of exits and entrances (from Immigration). They called the school to make sure I work there but that was all. As long as your on a legal E2 visa it's yours. I pay the bill, give the receipt at work, and they pay me half.

http://www.nhic.or.kr/index.html
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some waygug-in



Joined: 25 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2003 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My experience with Korean health insurance has lead me to believe it is next to useless.

At my first job here, the employer arranged for health insurance and the premiums were deducted off our monthy cheques. We all thought this was great, that was until we tried to use it.
The insurance didn't cover any pre-existing conditions, and gave very limited coverage for medical needs while in Korea, up to a total of 50,000 won. On top of that, in order to make a claim with the insurance company, we had to pay cash first, then get reciepts, with a doctor's signature, and then fill out a 2 page claim form (all in Korean). The school gave us the forms, but offered no assistance to fill them out. Needless to say, not many foreigners used it.

I don't know if this kind of insurance is typical for waeguks in Korea, but after that experience I just don't bother with it.

Perhaps someone out there could explain whether or not there is a more useful kind of health insurance offered for foreigners.

Cheers
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justagirl



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Location: Cheonan/Portland

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2003 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

waygug-in....that doesn't sound like what I have at all. I've had the insurance for 2 years. Both times, my bosses just asked for a copy of my alien ID card and 3 days later I had the insurance booklet. Now I'm wondering if there are different kinds and some of the teachers are getting a bad deal. I've never been told it won't cover more than a certain amount per month. I wish I knew more so I could help you guys out. I just hand the card to the hospital/clinic/whatever and they do the rest. An emergency trip to the hospital, iv drip and hospital room for 4 hours, and meds cost me about 13,000 with insurance. I've never filled out any forms.

The to original poster--your boss is messing with you. It would be a simple phone call to find out what to do. It sounds like he doesn't want to pay his half of the deal. My husband had the same thing happen..."Oh, none of the other teachers ever needed this...blah, blah, blah." Fortunately he wasn't sick, but from now on we aren't taking chances. I ended up in the hospital 3 weeks ago and I'm so glad I have the insurance.

Well, I'm rambling. Can EFL law help out in this case? Never hurts to send them an e-mail. They are really prompt and helpful.

justagirl
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Medic



Joined: 11 Mar 2003

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2003 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am at a university and we all get insurance that covers treatment as well as medication. I had trouble with my foot, and was told I didn't have the right Insurance for it. The university rectified it, because the system had changed since the time when I originally started working.

When I did have trouble with my insurance the medical staff at the clinic I visited were very helpful. Wouldn't hurt to go to a local Doctor to inquire about what insurance system you should have. A Doctor with English speaking staff that is.
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Derrek



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2003 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

some waygug-in wrote:
My experience with Korean health insurance has lead me to believe it is next to useless.

At my first job here, the employer arranged for health insurance and the premiums were deducted off our monthy cheques. We all thought this was great, that was until we tried to use it.
The insurance didn't cover any pre-existing conditions, and gave very limited coverage for medical needs while in Korea, up to a total of 50,000 won. On top of that, in order to make a claim with the insurance company, we had to pay cash first, then get reciepts, with a doctor's signature, and then fill out a 2 page claim form (all in Korean). The school gave us the forms, but offered no assistance to fill them out. Needless to say, not many foreigners used it.

I don't know if this kind of insurance is typical for waeguks in Korea, but after that experience I just don't bother with it.

Perhaps someone out there could explain whether or not there is a more useful kind of health insurance offered for foreigners.

Cheers


I agree. Especially for as much money as you pay in. I've never had a massive accident though -- I'm sure it's more helpful there, if you have the right policy.
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prairieboy



Joined: 14 Sep 2003
Location: The batcave.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've read in other threads about people being tracked down by NHIC for non-payment of premiums after they've changed hagwons, sometimes years later. I am one of those who has just recently changed hagwons so I had a friend call and ask about this.

It was explained to her that my insurance through NHIC was terminated when I was finished with my previous hagwon and that at the moment, if my new hagwon or I haven't registered, I am without insurance.

I'm wondering if this is the policy of only my local office or of the entire NHIC.

At least I shouldn't have to worry about a big bill for retroactive payments, or at least I hope that's the case.
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