As of 2006, Korean employers are obligated to provide their teachers with health care insurance, and most opt to go with the Korean National Health Insurance plan, though they can choose another if they wish. The school and teacher usually each cover half of the monthly cost, which is about 2.24% of the teacher’s monthly salary (total of 4.48%). The health care benefits include diagnosis, tests, medicine, medical materials, treatments, surgery, preventive care, rehabilitation, hospitalization, nursing, and transportation. 100% of the costs are not covered; when receiving health care treatments from a doctor or hospital, or when getting medicine from a pharmacy, the insured pays part of the total charges based on a predetermined cost-sharing percentage or fixed amount. These costs will vary according to the quality of clinic or hospital treatment is received at. Smaller clinics and hospitals are much cheaper than larger hospitals, but services and quality of care are usually much better at larger hospitals. Services not considered necessary for activities in daily life, e.g., plastic surgery are not covered by the NHI program. Dental care is also not covered.
Even if teachers do not have health coverage when they arrive in Korea, if they have an accident and are injured, of even if they go for a non-emergency doctor visit, they will receive a refund of paid medical fees retroactive to their arrival in Korea once they submit their insurance application and pay all back fees. On top of that, hospital and other medical fees are incredibly low compared to Western countries like America or Canada, and teachers need not be overly concerned.