NHI for Self-Employed (Gold Card)

Reviving a topic that was discussed in the past and linking it to the new Gold Card. I hope that some of the pioneers who received theirs in 2018 and 2019 will share their view or experience :pray:

Many posted on the Gold Card forum that they plan to freelance (a.k.a. working on a project basis from all over the world) or to keep working for their overseas company but while being based in Taiwan. A video shared by @fifieldt (thanks again man :love_you_gesture: ) showed Minister Tang confirming that the Gold Card was particularly crafted to meet the needs of freelancers.

The million-dollar question is: how to calculate the monthly contribution to NHI, considering that freelance income might vary from month to month? For the sake of this discussion, I am considering the extreme scenario: not opening a local business entity (so not being an employee of one’s own company) and income not fixed (so not working in Taiwan as a remote employee of a, say, US company). And Gold Card holder as a single professional, not a dependant of a Taiwanese spouse.

Thank you!



Articles 20 and 21 of National Health Insurance Act.

In Chinese


As far as I know, NHI is fixed at around 700-something a month. Basically category 6, insured by household registration office. It’s what you pay if you’re freelance or unemployed.

It doesn’t sound like much but if you make nothing, it’s a lot. But they don’t deny benefits anymore for not paying (they used to and people died because they couldn’t afford it).

I’m sure gold card is something similar…

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Reference for NHI ‘category’ in case it’s helpful: https://www.nhi.gov.tw/english/Content_List.aspx?n=B9C9C690524F2543&topn=46FA76EB55BC2CB8

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Thanks all for your tips :hugs:

@tando The two articles clarified everything.

A similar topic has come up in the gold-card thread by @BananaJay : "Employment gold card" for some foreigners

Unfortunately, I am not really getting what the links posted by @tando mean in this context. Article 20 says:

If the insured prescribed in Categories 1 and 2, has no stable income, the insured shall select the proper insured payroll-related amount from the Grading Table of insured payroll-related amount and such insured payroll-related amount shall be examined by the Insurer, who may make adjustment at its own discretion if the insured payroll-related amount is found inappropriate.

So it’s up to the Insurer (= NHI) to decide if they want to charge more or not?

Article 21 states:

In case that the income of the insured in Categories 1 and 2 as prescribed in the previous article is adjusted between February and July of the current year, the group insurance applicants shall notify the Insurer the adjusted insured payroll-related amount by the end of August of the same year, or notify the Insurer by the end of February of the following year if the adjustment is made between August of the current year and January of the following year, which shall become effective on the first day of the following month after notification.

So no retroactive payment then? But as a self-employed person you need to notify NHI two times a year about the income of the last months and the new payment will get effective the following month?


Thanks for linking the discussion, man. Appreciated :grin: When it’s my turn, I will probably try to mention the Articles to the officer just to double-check whether it is true or not that we must notify NHI twice a year in the event of any change.

Where’s that video link? (The Minister Tang one) Thanks!

Just click on the blue link. She is awesome btw :grin: Wish my home country had this kind of ministers as well.

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I’m a fierce critic of Taiwan’s nonsensical bureaucracy, but this time I’m happy to share positive vibes.

I applied for the NHI card this morning and everything was as smooth as it could be. The officer took my Gold Card and immediately looked at the back to retrieve the old number, which means that they are aware of the change (while the Motor Vehicle Office is clueless). I didn’t have to show my passport stamps because they already had everything about my movements in their online system. So basically, just Gold Card and a 2-inch photo.

I was not asked to provide any proof of employment or income, which makes me assume as @Taiwan_Luthiers wrote that I will be automatically put under the flat contribution, like when I was a student years back, at least for the time being.

One note for those in the same situation, although it was not much of an issue anyway. I used to have a NHI card years ago, which of course I threw away when I left Taiwan back then. The officer was actually expecting me to provide it, so I had to fill up a “lost card” form and pay the 200 NTD replacement fee.


thanks for the update. What insurance, if any, did you use for the interim period?

I bought a travel insurance through Allianz covering the first two months to be safe, after receiving written confirmation that as a Gold Card holder (so technically a resident of Taiwan) who for the initial six months was not eligible for NHI I could quality as a “short-term business traveller”. I know how b*****d insurance companies are with the small prints so I wanted a proof :smirk:

Once out of quarantine, I purchased a private health insurance with Nanshan (local) because they can be sold to ARC holders regardless of NHI. Still keeping it now in addition to NHI. A lot of paperwork and the usual doubting about the legitimacy of the shiny golden card, but no other major issues.

Thanks for the info. Also good to know about the flat contribution and no big fuzz when registering.
It says: Please enroll in the health insurance program through that office.

  • Question 1: If I am hopping from AirBnB to AirBnB (why? that’s another topic…), which office should I choose? (Is there maybe an office with more English speaking staff?)
  • Question 2: Is there a list or map for those “offices”?
  • Question 3: Can I can receive the bills online via e-Mail or whatever portal?
  • Question 4: I still don’t have a credit card or bank account here, will that be an issue?
  1. I’m guessing you should register at the correct office for where you’re living at the time of registration. The switching between airbnbs sounds likely to cause problems for you - won’t you need to keep updating your address with immigration as well?
  2. Dunno. If you’re in Taipei it would probably be easier to go to the main one near NTUH, but I think they may have ones for each district too (or maybe just Taipei and New Taipei - again, not sure).
  3. Doubt it. I think you’ll need a regular address to send the bimonthly bills to. I don’t think NHI will be able to accommodate any other way of sending the bills out for your uncommon situation.
  4. You can pay in convenience stores in cash (as long as you have the bill).