National Health Insurance?

I didn’t get a clear answer in Health & Fitness, so I’ll ask here:
How long should we expect it to take from the time the wife and I get to Taiwan for health insurance to kick in? Keeping insurance from my current job here in the States will be highly cost prohibitive, if any of you are familiar with Cobra. Is there an affordable, quick activating, short-term health insurance option we can look at?

It looks like the four month rule is still in effect. I would email the NHI and ask about the stipulation ‘Foreign employees with specific employers’. There’s an FAQ with contact #s linked below.

Unless you have some chronic problem that requires very expensive drugs, I think you’ll find that health care is extremely cheap here compared to the US. You may want to consider going w/o it for however long the NHI says you have to. Or look into travel insurance. I quite often use that when I go home. Should work the same for coming here; just read the fine print.

If you have a job you should be able to get it fairly quickly. My employer applied for NHI immediately after I’d received my work permit. It took a few weeks for me to actually receive the card, but in the meantime he gave me a photocopied paper that he said I could use for NHI until my card arrived. I never tried, but I had that paper within two weeks of starting my job, and the card less than a few weeks later.

If you’re studying, I believe you’ll have to wait four months as Bokonon said.

Once you have your ARC, should you require medical attention. Pay out of pocket and keep the receipt. When you do receive your card go to the local NHI office with receipts and card in hand and you will be reimbursed the part which is covered by NHI.

  • forget how long the receipts are valid though. Check the NHI site.

get travel insurance to cover yourself in the meantime if you are worried.

Are you relocating here permanently? No plans to go back to the US?

Something to consider if you or your wife have a pre-existing condition which would prevent you from getting new coverage should you go back to the US.

Otherwise, it just took a couple weeks after I got my job to get the health card here.

Permanently, like for the rest of our lives, no. When we eventually return to the US, we’ll have little or no problem getting insurance through whatever school system I work for. School districts have to offer insurance by state law in Texas.

I have been working for over 4 months with an ARC and still don’t have a health insurance card. I asked my boss about NHI and he said," I don’t know I just do the work permit." He royally screwed up my work permit but that is another story. The guy really doesn’t know what he is doing or makes its seem like he doesn’t. My gf says my employer is legally obligated to pay for part of my insurance. I also saw on the NHI site that the employer can be fined and also have to pay the back payments for insurance.

How can I report this or get my health insurance card if my boss keeps giving me the run around?

How can I report this or get my health insurance card if my boss keeps giving me the run around?[/quote]
I don’t know, but it sounds like your boss is lying through his teeth. He has to provide NHI for ALL of his employees, not just the foreign teacher. And yes, he should pay for at least half of it. I pay NT$344 per month and my boss pays $344 per month.

Maybe contact the CLA to complain? Or at least mention your plans to do so to your boss.

Go to NHI with your ARC and your passport.
Fill out the application.


He will see your name on the bill… :discodance:

I told a friend of mine who works at Nan Shan Insurance about this thread. If any of you have questions about NHI or possible options for private health insurance (or anything else insurance related actually), she said she would be glad to help. Her name is Cindy Chen and she can be reached at She speaks fluent English in case anyone is wondering.

Speaking of health insurance… the other day, I decided to use my dental benefits for my teeth cleaning… I’ve never gone to a dentist here in the US and so far, it’s been eye opening. In Canada, whenever I go get my teeth cleaned, I pay nothing extra as it’s covered under my company’s health insurance.

Over here (US), the benefit covers up to max of the average cost of what the dentists in my area code charges. So, it turns out I had to get 6 fillings done and each was about $123! WTF? Anyway, I’m supposed to pay $100 out of my own pocket. 6 lousy fillings the size of a small pins cost this much??

Anyway, my fiancee was saying that since I’m going to Taiwan, and since I can recover my national id card (I was born in Taiwan, but never lived there since after 8mths), she thinks I can simply get the NHI, pay the $600+NT and get my teeth filled there??? Anyone think this is not do-able? It doesn’t sound illegal does it? I’m following the rules, no?