First of all, it IS compulsory, mandatory, if you are an ARC holder:
[quote]1. Enrollment and Withdrawal
From July 17th 1999, foreigners with an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC)who have resided in Taiwan for four months are required to enroll in the NHI program immediately.
l Foreigners, losing their residence status because they no longer hold a valid ARC or because of not returning back to Taiwan, will also lose their right to belong to the NHI program. They must withdraw their subscription to the NHI program through their group insurance applicants(their employers or local administration offices) and then return their NHI card to their applicants and pay up the premiums in full before leaving Taiwan.
l When traveling overseas for a short period of time, on business or on vacation, and then returning to Taiwan with a valid ARC, foreigners must remain enrolled in the NHI program.
isc.adm.nctu.edu.tw/ISC/file/law … ce_DOH.doc
nhi.gov.tw/avgarden/av/n0940 … menu_id=10
Second, it is cheap -in terms of monthly deductions- and even cheaper when you go to see a doctor. A specialist for what, 150 nts to 500 nts?
[quote]The benefits under NHI are very comprehensive. This program covers the following services: inpatient care, ambulatory care, laboratory tests, pharmaceuticals, dental services, traditional Chinese medicine, day care for the mentally ill, and home care of the skilled nursing part.
In addition, there are preventive services offered, including adult health examinations, pre-natal examinations, well-baby check-ups, and pap smear examinations.
I personally use it a lot -chronic condition. I live close to three hospitals and there are like 20 clinics in the neighborhood -counting like 6 dentists, 2 skin doctors, 3 general specialists, 3 Chinese medicine clinics, 4 ENTs, etc… You have lots of choices. You get fast service. You do not need a reference to go to the hospital. You can make appointments in person or by Internet/phone.
I spend more on my dog’s medicines than my own.