Local private insurance without NHI (with ID card and courtesy visa)


I’m moving to Taiwan in June for four years and I’ll be in a specific situation when I’ll have a courtesy visa, an ID card (spouse card) but I’ll not be able to enroll NHI. So I’m considering local private health insurance. Can private insurance substitute NHI completely (and add something in advance) or is it just a supplement to NHI? What is the usual cost of private health insurance per month?

Can someone recommend me a private insurance company for this situation?

Is it possible to live in Taiwan without insurance completely or is it too risky?

Thank you

It’s often easier to get travel insurance from your home country.

Also, what is a courtesy VISA? Some special credit card?

On a spouse ARC you are still eligible for NHI. It will be paid through your spouses work (though you have to tell them to do so), or if your spouse doesn’t work, out of pocket.

Travel insurance from my country doesn’t cover chronic diseases (I’m an asthmatic) and dental procedures only very slightly. It also can’t last longer than one year.

Sorry, it should be visa, it’s not an abbreviation. My partner is a diplomat, she has diplomatic visa and I as a dependant have this special courtesy visa.

She is a diplomat, she has the ID card, not ARC. And beacause we are not married her employer won’t cover my insurance (she also doesn’t have and won’t have NHI).

it may depend on each plan. I think private insurance usually covers more than NHI.

Sorry, I misunderstood your situation. A lot of people need a six months temporary coverage until they can enroll in NHI.

My experience has been that because locals are usually covered by NHI, private insurance here pays for services that go beyond the basic NHI services. That is private rooms in hospitals, certain dental procedures, etc. Is there anyone your partner can ask to help with research on the ground before you arrive?

Hi @JanK, congratulations on your posting to Taiwan, and welcome to Forumosa :slight_smile:

So, for those who aren’t in the know, diplomats in Taiwan and their spouses do not have an ARC. They get a special card - my vague memory is that the card is light in colour and has a big 外 printed on it. They are also often not treated as tax residents of Taiwan regardless of the number of days they stay, as they remain tax residents of their home nation. They are often ineligible for NHI.

@JanK, I believe your problem would be quickly solved after the first party you attend. There’s a strong, helpful diplomatic community here. I’ll ask around, but in the worst case you could probably just get some travel insurance to cover the first month or two and find out more when you’re in-country.

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tando, do you have any recommendation regarding private insurance companies and their plans?

@rooftopclown, my situation is peculiar. I also thought firstly that I will have to enroll for NHI after six months, but because I won’t have ARC, but this ID card, I won’t have to. My reasoning is also that because most people in Taiwan have NHI, private insurance is probably more about premium services and special treatment because standard things are covered under NHI. But I’m not sure, the information is sparse…

Yes @fifieldt, diplomats from our country have their own special insurance provided by our country. They can have NHI, but only if the whole diplomatic office chooses to (which they don’t want). And because we are not married, I somehow fell out of the system… I can’t have neither NHI (because I won’t have ARC) nor the insurance provided by our government (I’m only family dependant, not a husband). It looks like there are only three options for me:

  1. local private insurance in Taiwan. But I’m not sure if I can have one as an ID card holder and I’m not sure if it’ll solve my problem anyway because I’m afraid that local private insurance is only about premiums.
  2. travel insurance from my country. But as I said earlier, insurance in my country doesn’t cover chronic diseases and dental procedures only up to a very small sum. And furthermore, you can’t be covered for more than a year (although I could probably jump to another insurance company).
  3. live in Taiwan uninsured. Not sure how much money I would have to pay to the doctors for normal treatment though in this case. And there is always a risk that I’ll have some serious health problems…

Not sure if there is also an option to get insurance from a global insurance company which wouldn’t mind to give me insurance for a period longer than one year and cover my allergy and asthmatic problems (not serious but I don’t know what to expect from Taiwan).

Until now, I have relied on Travel Insurance for each of my visits to Taiwan. My main concern of course is getting something serious that means a stay in Hospital of more than a couple of days, or at worst, requiring Evacuation. For a lengthy stay it might be an issue as the TA providers seem to shy away from trips over a few months.

However, I am now on an ARC, and in September I will be eligible for NHI, so that ends the Travel Insurance idea. I thought that I saw an old thread that mentioned Taiwan insurers, but cant locate it now.

EDIT - I am sure that some of the people that have been living here Visa Free for years would have some sources regarding Health Insurance.

This is the oversight of the country your partner is diplomat of. They should fix their policies to include partners out of wedlock in their insurance plan. Especially since they decided not to use NHI.

You should consider to acquire a different kind of visa to be able to use NHI if they don’t make an exception.
You could study Chinese or find work.

… or marry.

This was the thread I was thinking of before.

@slawa: Yeah, they should. But I won’t be the one to tell them what to do :slight_smile: . I plan to start looking for a job in Taiwan (I don’t know how hard is to get one - I work as a technical writer), but in the beginning, I’ll work for my current employee from Taiwan. Marriage is also an option… We are considering it :slight_smile:

@yinggeaussie Thanks for the link. I’ll check the private insurance companies mentioned in the thread.

Anyway, I consulted my situation with my insurance company again and it looks like there is a way how to get another travel insurance after one year.

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