SEOUL, Apr. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean insurance companies can no longer ask disabled people to disclose their disability before extending coverage, according to financial authorities.
The Financial Services Commission (FSC) announced plans on Monday to abolish the obligation for the disabled to reveal disabilities to insurance companies in a move to eradicate discrimination against disabled people.
The new legislation is set to take effect sometime during the first half of this year, with new insurance customers only having to disclose their medical history over the prior five years.
Under the amendment, insurance companies will be no longer able to impose additional charges for those with disabilities with a new anti-discrimination clause in the works.
In addition, people with disabilities will be eligible for additional tax benefits via the year-end tax settlement process.
For instance, disabled people who pay 1.1 million won for car insurance and 1.2 million won for life insurance will be able to claim back 270,000, up from 120,000.
The FSC also announced plans to develop common types of medical insurance policies to cover those who suffer from less severe mental illnesses such as sleep disorders.
The new policies will prevent people from being denied insurance benefits for having been prescribed sleep aids or not disclosing the information.
In a further move to protect the rights of disabled people, new ATM machines will offer improved accessibility for those in wheelchairs and those with visual impairment.
Enough space will be secured below the machine for a wheelchair, with the number keypad and the card slot located on the same level to avoid confusion for the visually impaired.
Speaking to the press, FSC chairman Choi Join-ku said, “We will make the financial sector more accessible to the disabled as part of our efforts to keep disability awareness alive. We urge the financial world to join us in breaking boundaries between disabled and non-disabled people.”
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)