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  • enmdj
  • Explorer

    • 7

    • February 28, 2018, 03:00:04 pm
    • Yongin, South Korea
Health Insurance when switching from EPIK to hagwon
« on: December 30, 2018, 01:29:34 pm »
From my understanding my insurance ends the same day as my EPIK contract.
All the hagwon positions I am applying for have copay insurance but when will I be covered by this?
I donít want to be paying hefty bills for medication in March because Iím no longer covered by insurance.


  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 3821

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: Health Insurance when switching from EPIK to hagwon
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2018, 01:54:44 pm »
I'm not sure what your specific situation is but you might be able to enroll in National Health as an individual payer (i.e. not as an employee).

I pay about 100 000 KRW a month - that is both the employee and employer contributions.  I would drop by the National Health office and have a chat with them.


Re: Health Insurance when switching from EPIK to hagwon
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2018, 05:27:53 pm »
Assuming you have a good contract that isn't trying to screw you over, NHIS insurance is active from the first day of your new contract, because you pay into it starting with your first paycheck. Until you get the white and red card thingy in the mail you can't actually use the insurance (you can go to a doctor or pharmacy but they won't find you in the NHIS system and will charge you more) BUT KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS because you can get reimbursed for everything you paid that was insurable. I hope that makes sense.

This is what happened to me:

- I got an EPIK job
- on first day of work, I got really sick and went to the hospital. I wasn't signed up for NHIS insurance yet and paid like 100,000 for tests and medicine that would have been like 10,000 with insurance.
- after a couple of weeks I got the red and white NHIS card.
- I gave my hospital/pharmacy receipts to my co-teacher who sent them to NHIS, and I got reimbursed.

Something similar happened when I was working at a hagwon, so I gave my receipts to the school and got reimbursed once my coverage was established.

BUT some hagwons do a shady thing where they won't give you health insurance for the first few months as a kind of probation. Some people here have said they still had the monthly 55,000W-ish employee premium deducted from their paycheck but weren't actually given insurance until after this probation period. Avoid any hagwons who talk about any kind of probation like this.

AND a lot of hagwons will say you're signed up for health insurance and deduct the monthly premium from your paycheck, but won't actually sign you up. Or they will sign you up and you get the card in the mail, but the hagwon doesn't pay your premiums so your coverage lapses. This is extremely common and all hagwon employees need to keep an eye on this.

All hagwon employees need to be aware that their employer will probably try to not pay your pension, not pay your taxes properly, and not pay your health insurance premiums. That's a lot of money they steal from you that they are contractually required to pay you, and a lot of tax liability they expose you to. And the Korean government is as usual completely useless at doing anything to help you with any of this.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2018, 05:30:57 pm by MayorHaggar »
Quote
Quote from: Mr.DeMartino on Yesterday at 01:40:32 PM

    Trump is a liar and a con man.


Re: Health Insurance when switching from EPIK to hagwon
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2018, 07:41:44 am »
Related to the above and the card, if you are registered, and find the NHIS office nearest to you, they will print the card on the spot.


  • enmdj
  • Explorer

    • 7

    • February 28, 2018, 03:00:04 pm
    • Yongin, South Korea
Re: Health Insurance when switching from EPIK to hagwon
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2018, 07:44:33 am »
Assuming you have a good contract that isn't trying to screw you over, NHIS insurance is active from the first day of your new contract, because you pay into it starting with your first paycheck. Until you get the white and red card thingy in the mail you can't actually use the insurance (you can go to a doctor or pharmacy but they won't find you in the NHIS system and will charge you more) BUT KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS because you can get reimbursed for everything you paid that was insurable. I hope that makes sense.

This is what happened to me:

- I got an EPIK job
- on first day of work, I got really sick and went to the hospital. I wasn't signed up for NHIS insurance yet and paid like 100,000 for tests and medicine that would have been like 10,000 with insurance.
- after a couple of weeks I got the red and white NHIS card.
- I gave my hospital/pharmacy receipts to my co-teacher who sent them to NHIS, and I got reimbursed.

Something similar happened when I was working at a hagwon, so I gave my receipts to the school and got reimbursed once my coverage was established.

BUT some hagwons do a shady thing where they won't give you health insurance for the first few months as a kind of probation. Some people here have said they still had the monthly 55,000W-ish employee premium deducted from their paycheck but weren't actually given insurance until after this probation period. Avoid any hagwons who talk about any kind of probation like this.

AND a lot of hagwons will say you're signed up for health insurance and deduct the monthly premium from your paycheck, but won't actually sign you up. Or they will sign you up and you get the card in the mail, but the hagwon doesn't pay your premiums so your coverage lapses. This is extremely common and all hagwon employees need to keep an eye on this.

All hagwon employees need to be aware that their employer will probably try to not pay your pension, not pay your taxes properly, and not pay your health insurance premiums. That's a lot of money they steal from you that they are contractually required to pay you, and a lot of tax liability they expose you to. And the Korean government is as usual completely useless at doing anything to help you with any of this.

Thank you so much for your reply.

I haven't made a decision yet on where I'm going to go so this will definitely be the deciding factor. I did see one hagwon allowing to 'opt out' of paying pension and NHIS which seemed a bit of a red flag to me even though it seemed to be a franchise hagwon which had many good reviews.

I don't want to end up getting screwed over as I need quite costly medication.


  • oglop
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1844

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Health Insurance when switching from EPIK to hagwon
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2018, 08:23:51 am »
You can't just opt out of paying health insurance or pension (South Africans are exempt from paying pension I think). Looks like they were trying to screw you over before even starting

Honestly, even if your new employer says they are paying pension/nhis, phone them up to confirm they are doing so


  • Mezoti97
  • The Legend

    • 2651

    • April 14, 2011, 03:02:50 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Health Insurance when switching from EPIK to hagwon
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2018, 09:01:31 am »
Until you get the white and red card thingy in the mail you can't actually use the insurance (you can go to a doctor or pharmacy but they won't find you in the NHIS system and will charge you more)

At a job I've held in Korea, one year I never received the NHIS card but I was still able to go to clinics/see doctors and have it covered by my national health insurance. All the clinic needed to see was my ARC card and that was enough for them to be able to pull up my health insurance information from that.


Re: Health Insurance when switching from EPIK to hagwon
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2018, 10:20:47 am »
Until you get the white and red card thingy in the mail you can't actually use the insurance (you can go to a doctor or pharmacy but they won't find you in the NHIS system and will charge you more)

At a job I've held in Korea, one year I never received the NHIS card but I was still able to go to clinics/see doctors and have it covered by my national health insurance. All the clinic needed to see was my ARC card and that was enough for them to be able to pull up my health insurance information from that.

Same 


  • hangook77
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1005

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Health Insurance when switching from EPIK to hagwon
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2018, 12:28:23 pm »
It's the law that you get the government health insurance from the government.  If companies are stiffing you, you report them to the health office or the pension office.  I forget which as they are both tied together.  One of them is responsible for collecting the two.  But it may take a couple of months to chow up in their system?  You have to call and check that you are registered.  As for paying for private insurance, that should be additional insurance in addition to your National Health Insurance.  I doubt many give additional insurance though. 


Re: Health Insurance when switching from EPIK to hagwon
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2019, 11:16:57 am »
I did see one hagwon allowing to 'opt out' of paying pension and NHIS which seemed a bit of a red flag to me even though it seemed to be a franchise hagwon which had many good reviews.

Doesn't matter, every franchise is different and everything depends on the individual franchise owner who runs a franchise school. All they do as a franchise is pay for the logo and maybe get some crappy franchise branded books, everything else depends on what the franchise owner wants to do. If a certain franchise owner wants to break the law, the central franchise office is not going to stop them.

And the South Korean legal system is so useless that there is pretty much nothing they will do to help you fight fraud. If the franchise is caught fiddling with taxes or pension or health insurance, you can bet the government will blame you for not knowing the law and stick you with the penalties, and the franchise will get a slap on the wrist. Probably 99% of hagwons commit tax fraud (if they make reference to a "3% tax rate" in the contract or in your payslips, it's tax fraud). Pension and health insurance embezzling are very common. Sometimes hagwons won't set up an E-2 visa properly and the teacher will get deported.

The best thing you can do is make sure your contract is airtight. Make sure the clauses on pension, health insurance, work hours, vacation, and taxes are clear and state what you and the employer are supposed to pay and what you are supposed to get.

Even so a good contract will not get you anywhere with the Korean legal system, they'll just say it's not in Korean or give the hagwon the benefit of the doubt. But a good contract is a way for you to make clear to the hagwon what you agreed to, and if they don't honor it they know that they are breaking that agreement.
Quote
Quote from: Mr.DeMartino on Yesterday at 01:40:32 PM

    Trump is a liar and a con man.