Last Thursday I had a free general health check-up according to my health insurance plan. It went smoothly and here I will share with you some of my experiences hoping that this will help you in the future.
Details on Free Health Check-Ups
If you have Korean National Health Insurance, you can get a free in-depth health check-up every 2 years. If you are born in an even year, you can get the exam in even years. Conversely, if you are born in odd years, you can get the exam in odd years.
So, for example, those born in 1998, 2000, 2002, etc. can get the exam in 2022, 2024, 2026, etc. Meanwhile, those born in 1997, 2001, 2003, etc can get the exam in 2023, 2025, 2027, etc.
Before Health Check-up
You need to check several things:
- Which hospital (I recommend the hospital with a translator available)
- Your health insurance payment (if you don’t pay for national health insurance, you can not get this free health check-up)
- When you can go (if you need a translator with you, you may need to follow his/her schedule as well)
I recommend you have a translator with you during this health check-up process unless you are good at Korean. But even if you’re comfortable with Korean, having a translator with you may ease the process. They tend to know what you need to do, and are there to advocate for you if you are not getting treated equally.
You can contact your translator for step-by-step instructions on how to register for a health check-up. Sometimes they will do it for you to fit both your schedule and their schedule.
The Day Before the Health Check-up
- Have a light meal for dinner and start to FAST from 9 pm.
- (Refrain from drinking alcohol, consuming gum, and eating candy. You can only drink water before going to bed)
- Make sure to fill out the health questionnaire that they send to you through Kakao after registration.
On the Medical Checkup Day
- DO NOT drink water in the morning.
- Please arrive on time as everyone is busy in the hospital
- Antiplatelet agents (Aspirin, Warfarin): You may continue taking the medication, but be sure to STOP on the day of the exam.
- Hypertensive medication: Please take it with a sip of water around 6 am on the day of the examination.
- STOP taking diabetes medications and injecting insulin while fasting.
- The check-up includes: a scan of your lung, your height, weight, mental health, eye condition, woman cervical… etc.
- If you are menstruating, you should not have urine analysis because there will be blood contamination which affects the interpretation of the result.
- Avoid PAP Smear 7 days before or after menstruation.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please inform the hospital in advance.
- Payment for the medical checkup will be made on the day of the appointment at the reception desk. You may pay with cash or a credit card.
- To reschedule the appointment, please change it at least 7 days before your appointment date.
- Please do not bring any valuables or children to your health checkup.
- If you schedule an endoscopy, there might be an extra payment.
- For women, you will have free endoscopy to check your cervix. You should tell the translator in advance if you are comfortable with only a female doctor during this process.
After the health check-up
The hospital will send you the results after 1-2 weeks. It will be in Korean so do ask your translator to translate it if you don’t understand the result.
Want to enroll in Korean National Health Insurance? Click Here for a guide on how to register.