BFS and Volunteer services will be limited from August for FTH

Services will be limited starting in August for both birth family search assistance requests as well as those for interpretation and translation due to our annual First Trip Home program that commences August 30, 2016.

  • Starting from August 1, 2016, we will not be able to process any email requests for birth family search assistance as well as those for interpretation and translation until after we have returned to the office on September 19, 2016.
  • Additionally, we will only process requests for consultations, document translations, and volunteer interpretation for those who are in-country that can be finished or take place before August 19, 2016. We will reopen these services to all of our members after we have returned to the office on September 19, 2016.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and deeply appreciate your patience and understanding as we prepare for this trip.

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2016 Sp.A.R.K (Sports and Arts Reaching Kids)

2016 Sp.A.R.K (Sports and Arts Reaching Kids)

2016 Sp.A.R.K (Sports and Arts Reaching Kids)


On June 25, 2016 G.O.A.’L spent the day at a child care center in Kangwon-do to hold Sp.A.R.K (Sports and Arts Reaching Kids), an outreach program for children living in child care centers in remote parts of the country. Sp.A.R.K provides the children at these centers with the unique experience of interacting with adult Korean adoptees that come from various countries while having fun.


We had 막국수 for lunch! Makguksu is a buckwheat noodle dish served in a chilled broth. You can add sugar, mustard, sesame oil, or vinegar to modify the taste to your liking. It is a local specialty of Gangwon province.



G.O.A.’L Football Club donated new basketballs, soccer balls, and nets to the child care center!



Playing outside with the kids on the playground.


Enjoying 3v3 basketball on the court.



We provided arts & crafts activities for the children, here we are making Kakao Friends paper dolls!

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We also brought many different materials for the children to create with - glue, popsicle sticks, pom poms, matchsticks, and other fun items! They especially liked making things with the glue and showing them off to G.O.A.’L participants.


We customized the banner with handprints from the G.O.A.’L participants and the children at the center!


Dinner was a spicy chicken dish called Dak Kalbi (닭갈비)! Dak Kalbi is a popular Korean dish generally made by stir-frying marinated chicken in a red chili paste (고추장) based sauce, sliced cabbage, sweet potato, scallions, onions, perilla leaves, and rice cake (떡) together on a hot plate. It is a specialty of Chuncheon.


G.O.A.’L thanks all the participants for joining us this year and we hope to see you at Sp.A.R.K next year!

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Korean Adoptee Life - National Health Insurance Service

Korean Adoptee Life - National Health Insurance Service




Korean adoptees are eligible for enrollment in the Korean National Health Insurance Service (NHIS). While full time employees in companies split the cost of and enroll you in national health insurance, if you are self-employed, a freelance worker, or even unemployed you can enroll yourself.


If an employer enrolls you in national health insurance, even if you did not have coverage before, you will not have to retroactively pay for the time you did not have coverage. This is in contrast to how enrollment works if you enroll yourself, as discussed below.


Enrolling in Korean National Health Insurance


Employees at the National Health Insurance Service branch offices may speak basic English and can help you enroll even if you don’t speak Korean well.


  1. Visit any National Health Insurance Service branch office. You can look up the branch office locations here. Look for a sign on the building like the one below:


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  1. Tell them you would like to enroll in the 지역 건강보험 <Community Health Insurance> for the Self-Employed/Unemployed.

  2. Your information will be referenced from your alien registration number.

  3. You will be asked if you are enrolling just yourself or yourself and dependents. Dependents' address should correspond with yours.

  4. You will be issued an insurance passbook on the spot. While clinics and hospitals can look up your information using your alien registration number, this passbook acts as proof of insurance.

  5. You will have to prepay in advance for at least one month (depending upon when you enroll, you may have to prepay for more than one month). The amount you will have to retroactively pay will depend on the amount of days elapsed from your last day of entry into Korea + 90 days.

  6. To pay your bill, you can set up an automatic transfer or pay a monthly bill that arrives via mail.

  7. For myself, the contribution per month is approximately KRW 95,000, your contribution level may differ. Additionally, for other visas, according to the National Health Insurance Service, the contribution is calculated as follows:


When the income of the self-employed insured is verified:

Monthly Contribution = Premium for office workers with monthly salary X

  • ※ If the monthly contribution is less than the average contribution → Charging previous year's average premium for dependents.


When the income of the self-employed insured is not verified:

Applying previous year's average premium for dependents

  • If the qualification for stay is a religious worker (D6), deduct 30% of contribution (Students (D2): Deduct 50%, General training(D4): Deduct 50%).

  • Residents abroad are charged the same as local residents (However, when the average premium per dependent is less than the previous year, they are charged the same fee as the average premium per dependent the previous year (Reduced 50% in case of C9))

  • Visitor(F1), residence(F2), settler(F5), marriage immigrant (F6) should charge and pay monthly insurance fee with the identical standard of local subscriber.

  • Premiums are pre-paid monthly (paid by the 25th of the previous month)


Requirements for enrolling in the community (self-employed) health insurance for an F4 visa holder:


  1. You must be staying more than 90 days in Korea

  2. It must be at least 90 days from the last time you entered Korea


Documents for community (self-employed) health insurance for an F4 visa holder:


  1. Alien Registration Card - If your F4 card has your Korean name on it, you may be registered under your Korean name

  2. Passport

  3. Proof of income if you have it (Not required)

  4. Bank Passbook (if you want to set up an automatic transfer each month for payment)

  5. Form of payment (Cash or card)


Benefits of National Healthcare Coverage


The healthcare system works on a co-payment system for coverage. National healthcare covers many procedures and treatments but is not all encompassing. The NHIS will NOT cover medical care received outside Korea. Make sure to get traveler’s insurance if traveling abroad.


You also are able to receive health check-ups free of charge. For the self-employed insured, these are biannually provided. Those enrolled by their employer are also provided this same benefit. However, if an employee has a non-office job, the health check-up is provided every year.


Read more about the specific benefits of coverage here.


Read more about the Health Check-up benefit here.


Receiving Healthcare in Korea


According to the National Health Insurance Service, health care is delivered as follows:


“The health care delivery process is introduced to utilize medical resources efficiently (to prevent patients from clustering at a general hospital), establish the roles of medical institutions, and help curb the rise in national medical expense and stabilization of insurance financing. Care benefit is divided into 1st step and 2nd step. The insured (dependent) must receive 1st care benefit first followed by 2nd care benefit. 1st phase of care benefit means the benefit from care institutions (clinic, hospital, general hospital) except tertiary hospitals (specialized general hospitals). 2nd phase of care benefit means the benefit from tertiary hospitals.”


Exceptions Include: childbirth, emergency medical care, dental care, rehabilitation, receiving care at the department of family medicine, and healthcare services for a hemophiliac.


There are more details about exceptions and referral rules regarding coverage here.


The co-payment amount varies depending on if the provider is a large hospital or small clinic.

For all providers, walk-ins are accepted, but appointments may get you quicker care. Since the national healthcare system covers everyone and visiting a primary care physician costs very little money, Koreans visit providers often. This is even for minor ailments such as the common cold.


If you do not have any health insurance coverage, you need to pay out of pocket for any care you receive.


Helpful Phrases: English (Korean)


I came to enroll in community health insurance. (지역 건강보험을 가입하러 왔는데요.)

I want to register for automatic withdrawal. (자동이체 등록을 하고 싶어요.)

When will my account be debited? (언제 계정이 인출 되나요?)

I want to enroll myself <and my family>. (저 <와 제 가족을> 등록하고 싶어요.)

When will I be billed? (고지서는 언제 나오나요?)

I have <do not have> an appointment. (저는 예약 있어요 <없어요>.)

I have <do not have> national health insurance. (저는 국민건강보험 있어요 <없어요>.)

Do you accept private <overseas> insurance? (사립 건강보험 <해외건강보험> 사용 가능한가요?)

I do not have insurance, how much will my treatment cost? (건강보험이 없는데 치료비가 얼마인가요?)




If you have specific questions, the National Health Insurance Service has a call center that provides support in English: Call 1577-1000 (Press 8 for English).


A detailed document about the National Health Insurance System in Korea is provided here:

PDF문서 National Health Insurance System of Korea.pdf (5.72M)

(English Document, Published DEC 2015)


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