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National Health Insurance again

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National Health Insurance again

Postby iris » 23 Oct 2002, 17:34

This is probably a question for Mr. Hartzell:

I am the foreign manager of the branch office of an international company. I have an ARC (3 year validity) since 19 August 2002. I was told that I could choose whether or not I wanted to join the National Health Insurance, and I chose not to because I have an international health and accident insurance.

Now, somebody else tells me that I do have to join NHI. That's a bit confusing :(

And if I join, should I still keep that international insurance after the contract expires in a couple of months or would NHI be sufficient (I think I asked that question before but didn't get an answer)?

Any useful information?

Thanks, Iris
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Postby *monkey* » 23 Oct 2002, 19:05

Q13: Is there any penalty if one refuses to enroll in the NHI?

Ans: The NHI program is a compulsory insurance. Anyone who is eligible for the NHI should enroll in the program. Those who refuse to enroll in the NHI will be fined the amount between NT$ 3,000 and NT$ 15,000. The enrollment will be retroactive to the first day when a person becomes eligible. However, until the required premium or penalty is fully paid, the coverage will not come into effect. Written notices with specific time limit within which the overdue amount should be paid will be sent to the insured or the Group Insurance Applicant. Prolonged overdue accounts will be dealt with through legal means.

Source: http://www.nhi.gov.tw/00english/e_index.htm
( ...source is from the FAQ button at the top ...)
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Postby Hartzell » 23 Oct 2002, 21:24

Yes, NHI participation is compulsory. You must join upon the date when you become eligible. If you wait a year to join, you will still be charged for that year's premiums.

As to whether you should retain other international (or home country) health insurance when enrollling under NHI, that is something for you to discuss with that insurer. Important points to consider would be whether the insurer will allow you so-much per visit for out-patient services in Taiwan, so much per hospital stay, etc., and/or if official receipts (in English) have to be given. How much paperwork is necessary to file a claim?

Also, does the insurer cover you when travelling internationally? That might be attractive and desirable if you travel frequently.
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Postby Rascal » 24 Oct 2002, 10:07

Under what conditions is it compulsory? When you have an ARC or when you are employed here and your salary is paid here?
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Postby Spack » 24 Oct 2002, 11:46

I have the joining family residency visa (JFRV) and will soon have the Open Work Permit. I work freelance, pay tax and have private medical insurance/life insurance which covers 'big things' (operations etc.).

Do I have to pay for NHI? If you pay it yourself, in other words not via a company who pays for most of it, that comes to around NT$2500 a month, which is why I chose not to pay it.

For small stuff (fillings and cold medicine etc.) it is still pretty cheap to pay it yourself. If it is illegal not to have NHI why do hospitals/clinics make provision for people like me to see a doctor and just pay the appropriate non-NHI rate?

Also, if I want to join the NHI again (after about 3 years) I would have to backpay all the missed payments. Or, maybe I am misinformed (?)

Thanks in advance for anyone's comments on my situation.
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yup

Postby Bassman » 24 Oct 2002, 12:04

You really do need to back pay missed payments, the same applies for Taiwanese too.
Actually you should be able to connect your insurance to your wife and just pay $600 NT per month, that is if you say you're "not working", sure you have an OWP but that doesn't mean that you are earning anything, it just means that you can have a job.
The insurance office where I live didn't ask any questions about work at all. But I did have to pay for my missed payments.
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Postby Spack » 24 Oct 2002, 23:45

I wonder how much communication there is between departments. If I get the Open Work Permit, is the NHI Bureau going to send me an 'invitation' to join the NHI ("and pay over 3 years missed payments while you're at it")?

For how long has it been compulsory for foreigners to join the NHI? I've only just found about that! I figured it was optional considering it's much more expensive to pay by yourself.
I know the law is the law and we all have a duty to find out for ourselves what the laws are regarding the NHI, but I just assumed that foreigners without an employer could just "pay as they played" (at a much higher rate, btw). Boy, was that a bad assumption!

Last question- has anyone (foreign) ever been pursued for missed NHI payments? (hope not!)

Thanks in advance.
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Open Work Permit and National Health Insurance

Postby Hartzell » 25 Oct 2002, 15:02

If you get the open work permit based on being married to an ROC national or having permanent residency, you (by definition) already have RESIDENCY, hence you are already eligible for NHI coverage.

In the past however I have heard that perhaps there is a six month "ineligibility period" initially if you can absolutely prove that you have no employment.

In regard to the mandatory nature of NHI, it was always that way from the beginning. I seem to recall that NHI started in March 1995.
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ROC Labor Standards Law regulations on employees' insurance

Postby Juba » 25 Oct 2002, 17:45

VI. Labor and Health Insurance

1. All ROC citizens and foreign laborers holding an ARC must be enrolled in the National Health Insurance Program.
2. Those foreign laborers employed in an establishment with more than five laborers must enroll in the Labor Insurance Program through the employing organization.
3. Health insurance premium shall be 4.25% that of the insured amount; Labor Insurance premium shall be 6.5%. Premiums for occupational accident insurance varies by profession and can range between 0.09-3%. Payment of occupational accident insurance premiums is the sole responsibility of the employer.
4. Payment of health insurance premiums for foreign laborers shall be as follows: employer pays 60%, government pays 10%, employee pays 30%.
5. Foreign laborers hired as household help shall have the option of joining the Labor Insurance Program.
6. All rights and responsibilities concerning insurance for foreign laborers shall be governed by the Labor Standards Law as well as Labor Insurance regulations.

Source: ROC Labor Standards Law concerning wages, hours, leave and holidays

Note: The term "foreign laborers" in this law does include white-collar employees.

Another note: The Bureau of Labor Insurance is currently taking action against rotten employer Interface Global because the company has failed to pay Labor Insurance for its employees for over a year. It hasn't paid its National Health Insurance contributions, either.
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Postby gazza » 25 Oct 2002, 20:33

In my last job I was forced to pay for Labour insurance + NHI for years. Yearly the total was over 15,000NT and I only used to visit the dentist for the twice yearly cleaning - clearly not worth the money I put into it. I wouldn't object to simply paying the NHI but if I have to pay the Labour insurance as well then I don't want either. (Labour insurance came to half of the money I had to pay out each year).

If we have an APRC and are unemployed (or paid in cash) can't we just apply for NHI alone and pay the min of 600nt pm?

I hate socialism!
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