Insurance Coverage for Mental Health Services in Korea | Korean National Health Insurance

This article is aimed to provide detailed information about insurance coverage for psychological services in Korea.

What Is The Korean National Health Insurance?

We are often asked if mental services including therapy at the Korea Psychological Group would be covered by the Korean National Insurance (한국국민보험). In this blog article, we discuss different insurance options available for you. 

The Korean National Health Insurance covers various forms of health care services and health check-ups. The Korean National Health Insurance covers the whole population living in South Korea. Foreigners who lived in Korea for over six months are required to register for the national health scheme.

The Korean National Health Insurance (NHIS Korea therapy) currently only covers medical services, meaning services by medical doctors at hospitals. 

For more details on what the Korean National Health Insurance is, you can visit their official website below. The website is available in Korean, English, Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese.

Is Therapy Covered by the Korean National Health Insurance?

Currently, the Korean National Insurance does not cover mental health services at mental health clinics, including psychological services at the Korea Psychological Group. 

However, consultation with a medical doctor, including a psychiatrist, is covered by the Korean National Health Insurance.

Are All Mental Health Services At Hospitals Covered By The National Korean Health Insurance?

Unfortunately, not all mental health services in the hospital are covered by the Korean National Health Insurance. For example, psychological evaluations are not covered by the insurance, as only mental health treatments are covered by the national insurance, and evaluation is not considered as treatment under the Korean National Health Insurance. 

Some medications are also not covered by national insurance. For more information regarding whether or not the mental health services you received at the hospital are covered by the national insurance, please contact the hospital in advance to confirm, or consult with your psychiatrist. 

Why Is Therapy Not Covered By The Korean National Health Insurance?

This is because therapy is not seen as medical treatment under Korean national health insurance. The Korean health insurance only covers services by psychiatrists, and services that are seen as treatment.

Would it show up on my medical records if I choose to get therapy in Korea?

If you use your Korean National Health Insurance at a hospital, the record will show on the National Health Insurance Corporation (국민건강보험공단) or Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (건강보험심사평가원). However, these records can only be accessed on a legal basis.

According to Korean law, the records cannot be accessed by others unless requested for criminal investigation or trial. For example, private companies or civil service examination (공무원 임용 고시) cannot use this record. If the private companies attempt to access your psychiatric medical record on the National Health Insurance Corporation, the company can be punishable by law. 

If you do not use your Korean National Insurance, it will not show up on your medical records. 

This means if you choose to get therapy at a mental health clinic such as Korea Psychological Group, it will not show up on your medical records. 

The session notes may be kept by your therapist and used to provide the best treatment. These notes and all patient information are kept secure and confidential. According to our confidentiality policy, we only release information about your treatment to others if you sign a written authorisation form. 

There are some situations where we are permitted or required to disclose information without either your consent or authorisation. For example, if we determine that there is a probability that the patient will inflict imminent physical injury on another, or that the patient will inflict imminent physical, mental or emotional harm upon themselves or others, the Korea Psychological Group may be required to take protective action by disclosing information to medical or law enforcement personnel. The patient can find more extraneous circumstances detailed in our intake form prior to their session.

What Other Types of Insurance Cover Therapy In Korea?

Depending on the insurance company, international insurance can be used to cover mental health services in Korea. 

International insurances that cover mental health services in Korea includes but is not limited to:

  • GBG Tiecare
  • United Healthcare Global (UHCG)
  • Dain (EAP) / 다인
  • Cigna
  • GeoBlue
  • HTH Worldwide
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • AXA Assistance 
  • British United Provident Association (BUPA)
  • Aetna
  • Foreign Service Benefit (FSBP)
  • Tricare

The coverage details and amount depend on your insurance policy. Please kindly contact your insurance company or your company HR department for details. 

Korea Psychological Group is in-network with United Healthcare Global (UHCG), GBG Tiecare, and Dain (EAP) can set up direct billing. 

We also serve and have worked with the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA).

Direct billing is when the clinic bills the patient’s session fee to their insurance company on behalf of the patient, with their written consent. If you would like to proceed as direct billing, or if you are covered by DoDEA, the Korea Psychological Group can contact the insurance companies or DoDEA directly to find out about the coverage information and get the psychological services pre-approved. 

Some insurance policies or companies do not allow setting up direct billing with a clinic. In such a case, you can proceed as a patient reimbursement option, in which the patient makes the payment to the clinic and later get the fee reimbursed by the insurance company by submitting the claims themselves. 

When choosing to proceed as a patient reimbursement option, there are a few documents the insurance company may require. 

  1. Pre-approval Letter / Guarantee of Payment Letter
    1. The Guarantee of Payment letter is an assurance of payment offered by the insurance companies for the full or portion of the session fee, depending on your coverage, covered by the insurance policy. 
    2. To obtain the letter, you need to contact your insurance company prior to the session date. They may ask for some information such as full name, date of birth, policy id, group number/name, treatment type, and session fee. 
    3. It can take from a day up to a month depending on the insurance companies to obtain the pre-approval letter. 
    4. Most insurance companies do not issue a pre-approval letter for a session that is more than a month away. 
  2. Medical Doctor’s Note
    1. Some insurance policies, such as Cigna Green Climate Fund (GCF), require a medical doctor’s note in order to get the sessions pre-approved. 
    2. Mental health clinics, such as ourselves, cannot provide a medical note, so please kindly visit a hospital or a psychiatrist. 
  3. Treatment Plan
    1. This document details your insurance information, diagnosis, and brief descriptions of your future treatment. Treatment Plans need to be written and signed by the patient’s assigned therapist. 
    2. If you are a patient of the Korea Psychological Group, you can request the Treatment Plan by emailing us at:
      1. The Treatment Plan will be provided free of charge. 
      2. Please bear in mind that it can take up to a week to prepare the document. 
  4. Superbill
    1. This is a detailed invoice outlining the service a patient received. 
    2. Superbill can only be issued once you have made your payment, and after the session has been held. 
    3. If you are a patient of the Korea Psychological Group, you can request the Superbill, please email us at: 

The required documents may defer depending on the insurance company and insurance policy, so please contact your insurance company to confirm the documents you need for reimbursement.

Some insurance policies cover a limited number of sessions. This limit can be in terms of the number of sessions covered or dollar amounts covered. Some insurance companies count the visit to psychiatrists towards the number of sessions covered or dollar amounts covered. To avoid surprise fees, it is recommended that you contact the insurance company in advance to confirm their rule regarding the coverage limits. 

Korea Psychological Group

The Korean National Insurance does not cover the psychological services at the Korea Psychological Group. 

We do direct billing for GBG Tiecare, United Healthcare Global (UHCG), and Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). This means we will bill the fee for our services directly to the insurance company on behalf of you, with your written consent. 

For more information and process regarding using your international insurance, feel free to contact Korea Psychological Group. Please also contact us for more information on our fees and for all other insurance companies. For a phone call, we are open from 11 AM to 7 PM, Monday through Saturday. For email and contact forms, we usually contact you back within the same day and a maximum within 2 days.

For all other psychological services related consultations, we offer 15 minutes free consultations with our clinical director, Dr Fernando. Feel free to contact us to schedule a 15-minute consultation.

By Ashley Kim

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