Korea has an affordable national health insurance program that is available to all citizens and legal residents. The insurance card looks like the one in the picture. The system is co-payment, meaning in-patient or out-patient pays a percentage of the charges while the NHIC pays for the rest. The insurance system is good for basic health and dental health services (like root canal surgery). It doesn’t cover cosmetic procedures (surprise! surprise!) and Lasik though. One thing that a lot of people are not familiar with is that the operation for removing sweat glands is covered by insurance.
My son and I visited a local pediatric clinic near our home. It was just before lunch and there were lots of kids (vacation time) so it was really noisy inside. We waited for more than a half hour before we saw the doctor. I like the clinic’s equipments, which are specially made for kids. The consultation lasted less than 5 minutes. Clinics in Korea aren’t immune to the “palli-palli” or rush system. ㅋㅋㅋㅋThis is true in almost every doctor’s office that I’ve visited. However, there is one doctor who spends about 20 minutes whenever I go to him for consultation and he always talk to me in English.
We payed 2,000 won (US$2) for the consultation and were given a 3-day prescription. I sometimes don’t get why the doctors would only prescribe for three days because it’s sometimes inconvenient having to go back to there. Anyway, we payed 1,500 won (US$1.50) for the medicines that we got from the pharmacy. We’ll go back to the doctor after three days.
Find more information on Korea’s national health insurance from the NHIC website.