NHI Conundrum (Investment Visa Holder)

I moved to Taiwan about 6 months ago for business. Initially I was told I could get NHI right away. I am an investor. Of course NHI office had a different idea. I was told to come back in six months.

I went back after 6 months. Now I was told I have to wait longer as I left the county.

Well, I am a business guy. I HAVE to leave the country for business trips.

I was told I could only leave one time and for no more than 30 days in six months. That is not possible. So according to them I will never qualify for NHI.

Now, I know I am not the only business guy who has to travel often.

And I have a family with me. They are under me and also will never qualify for NHI. Their schools keep asking for a copy of their NHI card.


I don’t know how to avoid it but here’s an overview of my experience doing it including how to calculate dates.

your family are eligible and must enroll to NHI, if they are on ARC and have been in taiwan for 6 months without leaving.

So, eh? You make it sound you actually want to qualify :joy:

I been in Taiwan for a while already, and I also managed to escape the NHI dragnet, and I got no plans on getting caught up in it if I can avoid it.

So? Why not tell the school they dont have it and that you will get back to me them if/when they get it, but it might take a while so no point in asking all the time.

For most families with kids, NHI is worth to enroll.

Well, they left Taiwan also. Twice. So they are at the same point as me.

We gave up our other international policy because any care sone in Taiwan is too hard to get reimbursed for as everything is in Chinese and too many scams here. So we don’t have any coverage except hospitalization in Malaysia.

Do you need to bring them on your business trips?

Consider yourself lucky! If I could choose not to enroll I certainly would. With a couple of kids and a reasonable salary private health insurance costs about the same but offers far more coverage than NHI. Count your blessings and find private insurance.

Any suggestions for private health insurance?

What about preexisting conditions?

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Yeah I was surprised. Just moved here/ started working here. Employer notified me my US health coverage ended. And I’m thinking “okay, so will be covered by Taiwan now”. Then Taiwan employer said “you can apply for NHI in Taiwan after 180 days”. What the heck?! So I’m without insurance now for 180 days??? I have travel I need to do, will I even ever qualify? Plus now I might actually need to see a doctor…

If it’s something relatively minor just go. Out of pocket expenses are relatively inexpensive even without NHI.

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One example: turning up at emergency department after a bike crash. X-rays, dressings, medication, doctor session. Didn’t have the NHI card at the time, so paid full rate on the day: TWD8000. After bringing the NHI card in days later, received around TWD7500 cash back.

So, you don’t want NHI.

NHI is socialised healthcare

I had a similar experience spent the whole night in the emergency room with an IV and the total cost was about NT$5000/~US$150.

Saw Doctor one time and the bill including the prescription medication was NT800 and I said this is so cheap. He said some people complain if it’s over 200.

your employer does not perticipate in NHI, so you shoud enroll as an individual? usually, people with ARC through employment get NHI from the first day.

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Can anyone recommend a local insurance company?

Unless they make an exception, there is no way I will ever qualify for NHI.

Are you here on a Gold Card? I am uncertain on how this works, but there have been other discussions about such cases here.


Snowstorm I am new to Taiwan but find the bureaucracy stifling. I get a different answer every time I enquire.

FYI: I was told that if I am an employee of a company (and not the owner or CEO) there is no wait period. You can’t rely on one person’s opinion - especially government workers. I was told multiple times I could get NHI as soon as I received my ARC. Then I was told to come back in 6 months. Then I was told I was not eligible as I was not an employee. Then I was told I had to wait 6 more months as I left the country twice. And I was told my kids can only get NHI if I get it.

Taiwan has really fallen behind the other Asian Tigers - Korea, HK and Singapore.

I had an expat employee who was in an accident before he was signed up with Korea’s NHI. Once he was signed up they went back and covered his bills from the accident. I was handling it for him (I speak Korean) and thought I was misunderstanding the NHI worker as the concept was so foreign.

No, I am not on a Gold Card. Just an investment visa.

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As an employee you are covered from day 1, no wait period.