I put this off for a while because I expected it to be a right pain in the backside, but it was surprisingly easy and painless.
It really was as simple as taking all my documents down to my local NHI office (www1.nhicb.gov.tw/english/index.php) where the staff made a surprising effort to work out what they needed to do and what I needed to sign.
I was asked to provide my authorisation letter from MOEA along with the National Tax Administration duplicate, ARC and passport. I was not asked to provide any proof of income as this would be impossible anyway and was simply dumped on the lowest income bracket for premiums. I will be paying around NT$1200/month. From what I read they are supposed to charge us the current average premium, but I wasn’t going to argue. You will also need your company and personal stamps.
I think the process would be just about doable with no Chinese but you’re not going to enamour yourself with the busy NHI staff and there’s a fair bit of writing involved. I thought my Chinese was okay until I drew a total blank on all the weird medical formspeak.
There are two separate policies available: one is the standard jian kang bao xian that everyone has to apply for, while the other is company owner’s insurance (lao bao) that protects against unemployment due to illness. This seemed of zero benefit to me as a foreign investor but you may want to look into it. The girl I spoke to didn’t really understand it herself so something may have got lost in translation.
Thumbs up to NHI on the whole.
PS: will Taiwan government websites please stop devoting 85% of the content to ego-stroking organisation, history and profile nonsense that nobody wants to read?