Additional Health Insurance as a Foreigner. Is it worth it?

As a foreigner having lived in Taiwan about 5 years and starting to call this place home, I’ve been researching things like savings, building a pension and lately additional health insurance. I’m 30 and have been working for almost 5 years here and will get married to a local next year so like most expats I have been enrolled in the NHI program with little to no complaints thus far (only some out of pocket expenses for a specialist physio).

The more I talk to my Taiwanese colleagues and people who are well off, they have all gotten an additional health insurance policy. I have been talking with 2-3 companies here to get additional insurance for my future wife and I and there are so many things to consider.

I don’t want to ramble about all the details I am considering but to put it short, I have some offers from insurance brokers that I am considering. Basically you pay 30-40k per year and you get additional coverage for accident, extensive health coverage (most of the policies after paying in for 20 years you get coverage for lifetime, and any unused amount plus interest is passed on to your next of kin after you pass on), insurance for serious illness (up to 5million NT on top of NHI coverage per case). I have looked into life insurance but it is way more expensive compared to the West, so think will leave that for a later day or when we buy a house.

I want to ask you fine people if anyone has got additional health insurance and if you think it is worth it? I would like to do it just for peace of mind, however I am still young, healthy and not 100% sure if I will stay in Taiwan long-term but on the flip side you read many horror stories of foreigners in accidents or elderly people getting sick bankrupting families.

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I’ve got it. My wife (Taiwanese) thinks it’s a great idea. Mind you, her job at the time was selling insurance, so I suspect our … three? … policies are overkill. I did wind up netting about NT$20,000 from a week-long hospital stay earlier this year.

There are other threads on this issue:

Yes, it is worth it if you are here for the long haul.
Your health is not something you want at risk. Better safe than sorry.
Some plans also offer interest that you get back after so many years.

Yes, yes. Even though medical costs are not US/West high, there are many things that as a foreigner you need. For instance, coverage in case you are disabled in an accident or are too sick to work, there is covereage. If you need 24 hour care, it is paid for. If you are having a procedure and prefer to stay in a private room and not with 8 other strangers, you can. If you want to use a special web or material so that you won’t have scars or stuff hanging out, it is included.

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As an local insurance agent here in Taiwan, my suggestion is still get one. Simply put it, NHI is just to keep you alive, there is no quality of medication so to speak. Also, the nursing here in Taiwan does not include anything unrelated to the medication, e.g. Personal caring. Therefore, if you plan on stay here for the long run, getting your own private insurance is highly recommended.
Just out of my curiosity, what type of life insurance that you are look at that costs higher than those in US?

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I would disagree with, “There is no quality of medication”. I have experienced far too much of Hospitals in Taiwan to be able to agree with that . The Surgery here is excellent. I have had to pay extra for “better” products ( e.g. Titanium plates/pins and coated Stents etc,) which have cost around 250,000 I suppose .
Rooms are hotel prices and Nursing is not as inclusive as , say , the UK, so you are responsible for food, consumables, a carer if needed.
I think it would be better to have some Insurance for those things.

Thanks for all the replies. I have looked through the previous links and received a few more quotes from companies, so think will move forward with arranging insurance from a broker who has compiled policies from four different companies. Some medical coverage is overlapping but have been told that this way is more economical.

Regarding life insurance, I am not familiar with the costs in the US but in Europe a family member recently bought a house and signed a new life insurance policy (whole life insurance) and pays less than 200euros a year each and the payout is around 250k euros.

The lowest amount of life insurance policy insurance I’m looking at now in Taiwan is 4k NT per year for 20 years, and the payout is 1million NT. I’m not exactly sure of the specifics but I know the quote my fiancee got was 2.5k for the same 1 million NT policy. I think this is a little extreme, does this mean they believe men are almost twice as risky to insure?

Also I have 30 years left until retirement and for the policy to be valid so I find this offer in Taiwan very unattractive. I know there are others with built-in cash value that you get your premiums back once you retire but they are even more expensive.

Any recommended insurance companies for private health insurance (NHI substitute?)
Or is it better to contact a broker, to get the best deal?
I’m struggling to find concrete information in English, even in this forum… :confused:

I had to post this expat insurance ad I just saw online. I don’t know who’s in charge of their marketing but, WTF?!

i believe they’re marketing to the elderly boat-porn crowd (a growing demographic)

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