Any advantage to getting private health insurance?

Hi guys

I’m from Ireland. We have free healthcare, similar to Taiwan. However many people also pay for private health insurance. The advantage of this is:

  • You can go to better hospitals.
  • You can get private rooms in hospitals.
  • You can get better doctors.
  • You can skip any waiting lists.

Is there an equivalent to this in Taiwan? If so, how much does it cost and what are the benefits?

Thank you.

Theres no free healthcare similar to Taiwan in Ireland (Ireland doesn’t use a universal insurance system), nor is Taiwan’s healthcare ‘free’ just pretty cheap in general.

For instance a GP visit could cost 50 euro not including prescription in Ireland (unless you have a medical card). I just visited a local GP this morning and paid 4 euro including prescribed drugs!

You can access consultants here within one week through the public system, generally there is no need to go private, you can also try different hospitals (shop around). Costs are very minimal through the public system for routine operations, as long as you don’t want extras like private room. The system works that the payment goes with the patient, so a patient can visit almost any hospital, public or private, and the hospital then bills the universal insurance fund.

Private extra insurance or private treatment does have some advantages, mainly more time and personal care and you can pay an individual room and of course private insurance could cover expensive cancer treatments.

Some hospitals are not in the NHI system, so your NHI card won’t help there. And yes, it’s very important ot get an additional private hospital insurance, you pay according to what you want. Hospital insurance pays actually what the NHI doesn’t cover, but it’s according to what you agree with the privat insurance company. I you get caverage for let’s say 8000 NT$/day for a room that could get you a VIP room at a hospital, if you want only 4,000NT$ coverage that would be enough for a two bed room. Plus the privat coverage adds even more, but it’s op to your choice how much you want to spend.

NHI would put you in a 4 bed room. included in your NHI coverage. Some meds and procedures are not covered by NHI.

Very few big hospitals are not covered by NHI, and they often have the best equipment and surgeons.

But not all is covered by NHI.

Well yeah not every hospital in Taiwan but what decent hospital wouldn’t have some NHI coverage, very few.

[quote=“headhonchoII”]Theres no free healthcare similar to Taiwan in Ireland (Ireland doesn’t use a universal insurance system), nor is Taiwan’s healthcare ‘free’ just pretty cheap in general.

For instance a GP visit could cost 50 euro not including prescription in Ireland (unless you have a medical card). I just visited a local GP this morning and paid 4 euro including prescribed drugs!

You can access consultants here within one week through the public system, generally there is no need to go private, you can also try different hospitals (shop around). Costs are very minimal through the public system for routine operations, as long as you don’t want extras like private room. The system works that the payment goes with the patient, so a patient can visit almost any hospital, public or private, and the hospital then bills the universal insurance fund.

Private extra insurance or private treatment does have some advantages, mainly more time and personal care and you can pay an individual room and of course private insurance could cover expensive cancer treatments.[/quote]

I thought you could see a consultant straightaway at most hospitals? When we go to Wanfang Hospital we see whatever specialist we ask for without making an appointment.

Yeah, but I repeat, not all procedures are covered by NHI.

[quote=“Petrichor”][quote=“headhonchoII”]Theres no free healthcare similar to Taiwan in Ireland (Ireland doesn’t use a universal insurance system), nor is Taiwan’s healthcare ‘free’ just pretty cheap in general.

For instance a GP visit could cost 50 euro not including prescription in Ireland (unless you have a medical card). I just visited a local GP this morning and paid 4 euro including prescribed drugs!

You can access consultants here within one week through the public system, generally there is no need to go private, you can also try different hospitals (shop around). Costs are very minimal through the public system for routine operations, as long as you don’t want extras like private room. The system works that the payment goes with the patient, so a patient can visit almost any hospital, public or private, and the hospital then bills the universal insurance fund.

Private extra insurance or private treatment does have some advantages, mainly more time and personal care and you can pay an individual room and of course private insurance could cover expensive cancer treatments.[/quote]

I thought you could see a consultant straightaway at most hospitals? When we go to Wanfang Hospital we see whatever specialist we ask for without making an appointment.[/quote]

Sure, if you don’t mind waiting in total chaos and in the midst of a caughing crowd, most hospitals have waiting facilities set-up badly.

Yes you can visit that day if he/she is working but will be put at the end of the list or you can register online with an earlier number for the consultant of your choice that week, they aren’t available every day or certain shifts obviously.

Yeah, but I repeat, not all procedures are covered by NHI.[/quote]

Obviously I repeat that point again myself to repeat my point which has been repeated by you :slight_smile:.

[quote=“Belgian Pie”][quote=“Petrichor”][quote=“headhonchoII”]Theres no free healthcare similar to Taiwan in Ireland (Ireland doesn’t use a universal insurance system), nor is Taiwan’s healthcare ‘free’ just pretty cheap in general.

For instance a GP visit could cost 50 euro not including prescription in Ireland (unless you have a medical card). I just visited a local GP this morning and paid 4 euro including prescribed drugs!

You can access consultants here within one week through the public system, generally there is no need to go private, you can also try different hospitals (shop around). Costs are very minimal through the public system for routine operations, as long as you don’t want extras like private room. The system works that the payment goes with the patient, so a patient can visit almost any hospital, public or private, and the hospital then bills the universal insurance fund.

Private extra insurance or private treatment does have some advantages, mainly more time and personal care and you can pay an individual room and of course private insurance could cover expensive cancer treatments.[/quote]

I thought you could see a consultant straightaway at most hospitals? When we go to Wanfang Hospital we see whatever specialist we ask for without making an appointment.[/quote]

Sure, if you don’t mind waiting in total chaos and in the midst of a caughing crowd, most hospitals have waiting facilities set-up badly.[/quote]

Is there a doctor’s office that doesn’t have sick people waiting? Please, show me the way!

Maybe we’ve just been lucky or I can’t tell who is or isn’t a consultant. Whenever we’ve been we’ve always seen whichever relevant specialist that day. Sometimes I’m disappointed because I take along my book to practise reading Chinese and I get seen straightaway. Pediatrics is sometimes backed up, but we still never leave the hospital without seeing someone. Maybe we’re not seeing actual consultants all the time. It doesn’t matter to me as long as we’re treated.

In the UK you might see your GP that day if it’s an emergency and you phone as soon as the surgery opens, but it can take months to see a specialist in a hospital and up to years to be treated for some conditions. (Not directed at you in particular, just speaking generally.)

I mean you can always see the consultant that day if
you go to the hospital and register but it could take hours waiting, also different consultants work different shifts. A better strategy for me is to check online and get a number so I don’t have to spend all morning or all evening there.

[quote=“Petrichor”][quote=“Belgian Pie”][quote=“Petrichor”][quote=“headhonchoII”]Theres no free healthcare similar to Taiwan in Ireland (Ireland doesn’t use a universal insurance system), nor is Taiwan’s healthcare ‘free’ just pretty cheap in general.

For instance a GP visit could cost 50 euro not including prescription in Ireland (unless you have a medical card). I just visited a local GP this morning and paid 4 euro including prescribed drugs!

You can access consultants here within one week through the public system, generally there is no need to go private, you can also try different hospitals (shop around). Costs are very minimal through the public system for routine operations, as long as you don’t want extras like private room. The system works that the payment goes with the patient, so a patient can visit almost any hospital, public or private, and the hospital then bills the universal insurance fund.

Private extra insurance or private treatment does have some advantages, mainly more time and personal care and you can pay an individual room and of course private insurance could cover expensive cancer treatments.[/quote]

I thought you could see a consultant straightaway at most hospitals? When we go to Wanfang Hospital we see whatever specialist we ask for without making an appointment.[/quote]

Sure, if you don’t mind waiting in total chaos and in the midst of a caughing crowd, most hospitals have waiting facilities set-up badly.[/quote]

Is there a doctor’s office that doesn’t have sick people waiting? Please, show me the way![/quote]

There are people that need to be in a hospital, and there are people that are not! They just have snot up their nose!

So what are the options in taiwan for private minimum insurance if you are temporarily not eligible for NHI?

Really?

One of my wife’s co-workers has just become seriously ill. She’s already been in one hospital for over a week and has just been transferred to another one with more specialist care. Every time someone becomes ill or the insurance people come knocking at the door I always have to listen to the same old lecture about how important private medical insurance is in Taiwan. I’m dead against private medical insurance. This is probably due to growing up in a family where private medical insurance was simply out of reach. As far as I know, most people in the UK who have private medical insurance are either wealthy or obtain it as part of a benefits package that comes with their job. For the rest of us, we just depend on the National Health Service.

My wife has private medical insurance. Each year she forks out roughly one sixth of her total annual income for this insurance, and it drives me insane. Yes, I know there’s a tax break of TWD22,000 each year for this medical insurance, however we are both cram school teachers who have received tax refunds each and every year we’ve been here due to our low incomes. How much this tax break actually benefits us, God only knows!

I really don’t think people weigh up the costs and benefits of this kind of insurance. Most people, touch wood, won’t require serious hospitalised treatment every year. Based on my wife’s experience, she was hospitalised two years ago where the money from the private medical insurance put her in a nice room and she even managed to make a bit of money out of it. However, she’s been paying the premiums for over 10 years. It would have been much cheaper for her to have not paid the premiums for all this time, and just forked out the cash for her stay in the hospital. A solid cash cushion of a few hundred thousand NT seems like more sense than giving insurance companies such a large share of your income every year. The added bonus of this is that if you aren’t sick the money is still yours to keep. Taiwanese insurance companies seem like the most profitable businesses here in Taiwan. Why people need to fund the coffers of these greedy corporations is beyond me.

Every time I raise these points with Taiwanese people I always get the same response: “You don’t understand Taiwanese culture. The hospitals in Taiwan are very bad, the government in Taiwan is shit, people need to look out for themselves” etc. Taiwan is very lucky to have a universal healthcare system (unlike the USA) that provides a pretty decent standard of care (unlike the UK). My monthly NHI contributions are enough, thank you.

Forgot to mention: perhaps the reason why my wife pays such an exorbitant amount for her insurance is because a family member is a salesperson at one of the insurance companies. When they need to meet their 業績 targets they always come knocking.