Health Insurance For Expats In South Korea

The Best Health Insurance For Expatriates Living In South Korea

Posted by Greg Jones on January 24, 2020

If you've searched Google for health insurance that covers expats in South Korea then you are most likely for looking for trusted UK based health insurance providers that will cover your medical expenses in South Korea.

Living as an expat in South Korea you want to avoid any unwanted and unexpected health care costs. In some countries these can amount to hundreds of thousands of pounds for serious medical conditions.

Our advice when looking for private medical insurance that covers expatriates living in South Korea is to speak to a health insurance broker. Health insurance is very complex and if you want complete certainty that South Korea is covered by your policy you should talk with a medical insurance broker who can explain which policy providers will cover medical expenses for expatriates in South Korea and which will not.

There are many advantages to using a broker but the largest by far is that you're using their insurance training at no cost. They are paid by the insurer (Aviva or Bupa etc) rather than you so it costs you no extra to use their services.

  • Do you live in many different areas? Some will give you a lower policy premium than offers. A insurance broker will be able to advise whats best.
  • Do you have a hobby that may invalidate your insurance claim? A broker will know this critical information.
  • If you are a couple and one of you has claimed on your insurance policy this year would it be cheaper to separate you both onto two different policies?
  • You've lean't you're at risk of developing a certain medical condition and want to know which insurer offers the largest amount of cover for it. A broker will know this instantly saving you so much time and effort.

You can call around every health insurance provider on the market and ask if they provider cover for expats in South Korea, however this will be a very time consuming process. Each insurer will ask for your medical history because its not normally a simple yes or not if a medical condition is covered or not.

Its much quicker to speak to one health insurance broker which will know which providers on the market offer cover for expats in South Korea and under what terms they do or don't cover it.

South Korea Information

Tourism in South Korea refers to the tourist industry in the Republic of Korea. In 2012, 11.1 million foreign tourists visited South Korea, making it the 20th most visited country in the world, and the 6th most visited in Asia. Most non-Korean tourists come from other parts of East Asia such as Japan, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. The recent popularity of Korean popular culture, often known as the "Korean Wave", in these countries has increased tourist arrivals. Seoul is the principal tourist destination for visitors; popular tourist destinations outside of Seoul include the major coastal city of Busan, the Seorak-san national park, the historic city of Gyeongju and subtropical Jeju Island. Traveling to North Korea is not normally possible without a special permission, but in recent years organized group tours have allowed groups of South Korean citizens to visit Mount Kumgang.

The majority of the South Korean tourist industry is supported by domestic tourism. Thanks to the country's extensive network of trains and buses, most of the country lies within a day's round trip of any major city. International tourists come primarily from nearby countries in Asia. Japan, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan together account for roughly 75% of the total number of international tourists. In addition, the Korean Wave has brought increasing numbers of tourists from Southeast Asia and India. The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) is targeting 100,000 arrivals from India in 2013.

The number of Korean domestic tourists has increased since 2010. The number of people who participated in domestic travel (which includes one-day trips) was about 238.3 million (in 2015). It increased by 4.9% compared to 2014 (227.1 million). In 2014, Korean's domestic tourism expenditure was ₩14.4 trillion.

Also, Korean oversea tourists keep increasing since 2010. From 2012 to 2014, the number of people travelling overseas has risen by about 8.2% on average. In 2014, number of Korean oversea tourists was about 16.1 million. And Korean oversea tourism expenditure was $19,469.9 million.

In the past, South Koreans were not likely to travel overseas, due to the Korean War and subsequent economic difficulties, as well as government restrictions on overseas travel, with passports issued only for a narrow range of reasons, such as traveling abroad on government businesses, for technical training, and so on. Since the 1960s, overseas travel restrictions and regulations have been continuously reviewed to prevent foreign currency waste from traveling abroad. However, during the 1980s, the liberalization of international travel has begun to take place in catering to the globalization of the South Korea society. Since then, South Koreans have been able to travel freely abroad.

The busy lifestyle of modern South Koreans, leading to difficulties in mediating vacations with family or friends, and the increase in one-person households, have contributed to the growing number of South Koreans traveling alone. Therefore, the popularity of destinations close to South Korea, where South Koreans can go for short vacations alone, are increasing. According to the results of a plane ticket analysis in 2016, the top foreign destination for South Koreans is Osaka, followed by Bangkok and Tokyo. Moreover, Osaka, Tokyo, and Shanghai have high re-visit rates for South Koreans. However European destinations such as London, Paris, and Rome have fallen in re-visit rating, due to geographical distances, expensive air fares and high costs.

International tourists typically enter the country through Incheon International Airport, near Seoul, which was found to be the world's best airport in 2006. Also international airports in Busan and Jeju are frequently used.

In 2018, travel and tourism based on international expenditure directly contributed KRW 16.7 trillion to the South Korean GDP and directly supported 1.4 million jobs, this represented 5.3% of the total employment in the country (OECD).

In 2019, the contribution of travel and tourism to the Korean GDP was up 4.2% of the total economy (KRW 81.4 billion). Which accounted for 4.8% of total employment (1.3%). The impact of international visitors accounted for KRW 26.5 billion (World Travel and Tourism Council).

China has been South Korea's largest tourism source for years. In 2016, visitors from China made up 46.8% of tourists in South Korea. However China imposed the group tour ban after the US military started to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea. From April 2017, Chinese tourists plummeted by more than 60% compared to the previous year. In recent years, the South Korean tourism industry has made it a long term goal to reduce dependency on Chinese tourists.