International Health Insurance for expatriates in Taiwan

International Health Insurance for expatriates in Taiwan

Discover our health insurance policies specifically designed for expats in Taiwan

Foyer Global Health covers expats’ health in Taiwan who are seeking for a private health insurance solution tailored to their needs.

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Taiwan is a beautiful country that enjoys many freedoms, boasts a strong economy and has an advanced healthcare system. The healthcare system in Taiwan is recognised for its advanced technologies and methods and, despite its high quality, can be accessed at relatively affordable prices.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a tourist from abroad who is simply visiting for a short time and has caught a cold, or whether you are an expat or a health tourist who wants to have a complex operation. Once you familiarise yourself with the system, you’ll see that everything runs smoothly and doesn’t involve high costs, as is the case in some other countries. Read more about it in this guide and get all the knowledge you need to navigate Taiwan’s healthcare landscape on your journey.

Understanding the National Health Insurance (NHI)

The NHI is the Taiwanese National Health Insurance, which finances the country’s national health insurance and operates it as a standardised, universal healthcare system. This means that most residents of Taiwan, as well as foreigners with Alien Resident Certificates (ARC), i.e. expats, are registered with this public health insurance scheme and pay a monthly premium for their coverage.

Thanks to this system, the NHI can cover a wide range of medical services and finance them for people with medical needs. This includes simple visits to the doctor as well as referrals to specialists, hospitalisation, medication and preventive measures. However, there are a few important points to bear in mind:

  • Eligibility: Short-term visitors who travel to the country, such as tourists, are not automatically included in the NHI care programme during their trip and insurance is therefore not guaranteed. However, you can, of course, take out private health insurance to cover medical expenses during a temporary stay in Taiwan.
  • Alternatives: It may be that you have not taken out travel insurance or full private health insurance, either because you forgot, because it was too expensive for you at the time or for some other reason. In these cases, you may want to consider taking out short-term global health insurance, which is provided specifically for visitors to Taiwan and more comprehensive than a classic travel insurance.

If you are a long-term visitor to Taiwan, you can take out health insurance directly with the NHI. You are considered a long-term visitor if you are planning a trip of more than six months and are therefore an expat. In such a case, you can enjoy certain benefits but have to pay premiums retroactively. Nevertheless, this is an extremely cost-effective option for long-term stays. If this applies to you, the best way to find out more is to contact the National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) directly.

As soon as you are registered with the NHI and enrolled in the healthcare system during your travel, you will receive a so-called NHI card. This serves as your health insurance card. Each time you then visit a contracted clinic or hospital, you simply need to show the NHI card as proof of identity to receive coverage of the cost by the insurance company. As is also the case in other countries, such as the USA, there may be special payments for certain services. However, these are usually low.

Public or private healthcare in Taiwan?

As is the case in other countries in Asia, Europe, or the United States of America, there is also the option of choosing between public and private healthcare coverage in Taiwan. Public health insurance is provided exclusively by the NHI and covers most clinics, hospitals, and services in the country. However, especially at hospitals in Taipei, there can be longer waiting times, which is compensated for by the high quality of healthcare.

If you opt for private medical insurance in Taiwan, you can only go to private hospitals and clinics. These are usually characterised by shorter waiting times, English-speaking staff and modern facilities. However, the services themselves can be considerably more expensive. When deciding between public and private health insurance, you should consider the following points:

  1. The most important thing is always your own budget. Public insurance with the NHI is quite cost-effective method and is accessible for any budget range.
  2. If your medical need is an emergency, it is best to have it treated at a public hospital. These are usually better equipped to deal with urgent medical situations.
  3. If you come from a country where Chinese is not spoken and are an international expat living in Taiwan, the language can be a bit of a barrier. Private clinics can ease this barrier somewhat when it comes to something as significant as your health, as they often have English-speaking staff and doctors.

The costs and payments with health insurance

Let’s now come to one of the most important questions that expats in Taiwan often ask when it comes to healthcare: what are the costs of care?

Compared to many Western countries, you don’t have to worry about the costs in Taiwan, as they are much lower. To give you a better idea, we would like to list a few typical costs and payments here:

  • A visit to the doctor: If you take a trip to a doctor in a public clinic in Taiwan with NHI coverage for a minor illness or similar, you only have to pay a small co-payment. On average, this is only €5 and may even include the medication.
  • Medication: As just mentioned, medication can sometimes already be included in the low co-payment of around €5. This is particularly the case for medicines that do not require a prescription. If you need to buy a prescription medication, you will have to pay a minor co-payment in a similar price range.
  • Emergencies: If you have an emergency and need an ambulance, this will be fully covered by public health insurance. The subsequent hospitalisation is also free of charge, with possible small co-payments for special services. If you call an ambulance for a non-emergency situation, you will be charged approximately €50.

Which clinic should I visit?

The network of Taiwanese medical facilities is excellent and spread throughout the country. No matter where you are, it’s not far to the nearest top hospital. A few of the most prestigious hospitals are:

  • Taipei Veterans General Hospital: This public hospital is known for its advanced medical technology and specialised medical care.
  • National Taiwan University Hospital: This is the leading academic medical centre in Taiwan. It offers comprehensive medical health services.
  • Cathay General Hospital: A hospital that is particularly interesting for people with private insurance. The medical centre has a good reputation for its international patient service and English-speaking staff.

As Taiwan is internationally renowned for its advanced medical care, there are also many health tourists and most clinics have already adapted to foreigners. This is the case with both private and public facilities. Clinics often have English signage to show that they welcome English-speaking patients, such as american tourists. You can also use online resources such as the Taiwan Ministry of Health and Welfare website to help you find English-speaking doctors.

Foyer Global Health provides comprehensive health insurance in Taiwan

Many expatriates in Taiwan choose international health insurance for expatriates because it is more comprehensive and easier to use, with the guarantee that they will be covered at all times, wherever they are. Foyer Global Health offers you tailored, secure health cover solutions for your stay in Taiwan and anywhere else in the world.

Discover the many advantages of our cover:

  • Optimised, flexible health cover that protects you on the island of Taiwan, in your home country and anywhere in the world
  • Diiferent levels of cover to suit your profile and preferences at competitive prices
  • Complete freedom to choose your medical provider, whether public or private
  • Multilingual medical assistance, available 24/7