NHI, leaving the country for vaca, student status, employment... ?

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NHI, leaving the country for vaca, student status, employment... ?

Postby Lili » 14 Jun 2011, 01:52

I just read this thread: viewtopic.php?f=54&t=94709&start=10 and now my idea of how my insurance would work here is completely turned on its head. :eek:

As I now understand, as a student at MTC, they provide me with virtually nil insurance (though I have yet to find the actual policy plan document, so this might not be true). I have to buy traveler's insurance. Easy enough.

But traveler's insurance doesn't generally include prescriptions (correct?) so what will I do about that?
I have asthma and I take Singulair every day, albuterol as needed, and birth control.

How would someone not insured under the NHI go about getting a Rx and buying the medicine (typical costs).
I guess if I can get them cheaper in Taiwan then I won't bother stockpiling for trip, but its hard to believe my Rxs in the US could cost less than elsewhere. Heh. :neutral:

Does anyone know how much Singulair and albuterol (ventilin) retail? And how do I find out about what birth controls are available to me at what cost?


And do I have this right: as a student, I have to be enrolled at MTC for 4 months (effectively 5 with semester changes), apply for my ARC, then wait an additional 6 months to get NHI? Can I leave the country during any of this time (few days out to Idonesia or Tokyo for example)?
What if I get a job which offers the ARC and NHI? Then does this scheme^ not apply?


Thank you so much. This is really important and I'm grateful there is Forumosa as a resource.
"I wanted to be puzzled and charmed, to experience the endless, beguiling variety of a continent where you can board a train and an hour later be somewhere where the inhabitants speak a different language, eat different foods, work different hours, live lives that are at once so different and yet so oddly similar. I wanted to be a tourist," Bill Bryson.
"...But I ended up in Taiwan," Lili.

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Re: NHI, leaving the country for vaca, student status, employment... ?

Postby odysseyandoracle » 15 Jun 2011, 12:43

I was just at the office here in Wenshan trying to get this done. It's actually 4 months from the date you get your ARC, and at least according to the woman here you need to continuously be in Taiwan for 4 months in order to apply. Which screwed me over...I didn't apply for the school's insurance this semester, planning on being able to enroll in the NHI, but I went to the US back in March which reset the timer.

Again, I have no independent confirmation that this is true, but I spent a couple hours at the Wenshan office talking to a few people in Chinese and this was the result. According to them, every time you leave the country before you get your NHI registration settled the timer resets at 4 months from the date your re-enter Taiwan. If you need that insurance as soon as possible, do not plan to leave the country after getting your ARC.

As for your other questions, you do not need a prescription to buy most common drugs, unless they contain Sudafed or any of that other stuff that you can supposedly use to make meth. There are many private pharmacies all over the place, and you don't need a prescription to patronize them. And yes, they will be cheaper than they are in America even with insurance. Make sure you know the medical names of the drugs you need, as they are probably not under the same brand name here. Drugs in Taiwan seem to be well regulated and safe - never heard of any problems.

You will be able to apply for your resident visa 4 months after your landing date in Taiwan - it has nothing to do with class schedules, so don't worry about weeks off/semester changes. So if you have a 60 day visitor's visa you will renew that twice then apply for the resident visa.

Finally, if you find a job none of that applies. You will apply for your ARC as soon as you have your work permit (generally there is no need to first apply for a resident visa) and then you can immediately apply for NHI. I am not sure why students need to wait so long.

I don't know anything about birth control pills, sorry. I would assume you can just go to a pharmacy as above.

Hope this helps.
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Re: NHI, leaving the country for vaca, student status, employment... ?

Postby ludahai » 15 Jun 2011, 16:35

That makes absolutely no sense about a four-month timer. My understanding of the law is that once you get your ARC, you are REQUIRED to enroll in the NHI four months after getting the ARC. I would check with the local NIA branch for confirmation on that, however, given that few things are constant over the long term and I went through this nearly nine years ago.
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Re: NHI, leaving the country for vaca, student status, employment... ?

Postby odysseyandoracle » 16 Jun 2011, 14:28

I absolutely agree that it makes no sense. I'm looking at the NHI act right now, and here's what the relevant section says:

Article 10
Any national of Republic of China must meet one
of the following requirements in order to become
the beneficiaries of this Insurance:
1.Those who have previously subscribed to this
Insurance or having established a registered
domicile for at least four consecutive months
in the Taiwan area prior to subscription of this
Insurance;
2.Having established a registered domicile in
the Taiwan area at the time of becoming a
subscriber to this Insurance and qualified as the
insured under items (1) to (3), subparagraph 1,
paragraph 1 of Article 8;
3.Newborns having had domicile registration at
the time of subscription to this Insurance in the
Taiwan area, and qualified under Article 9 as
the dependents of the insured.
Any person who has not met the requirements in
the preceding paragraph and has an alien resident
certificate in the Taiwan area and qualified as
the insured under Article 8 or those qualified
under Article 9 as the dependents of the insured,
upon fulfilling a four-month minimum residency
requirement, may subscribe and become covered
by this Insurance. Any person qualified as the
insured under items (1) to (3), subparagraph 1,
paragraph 1 of Article 8 shall not be subject to the
four month requirement.


...which is still somewhat ambiguous. It says that ROC nationals need to have residence for "four consecutive months," and foreign nationals just "four months," but leaving the country on a vacation surely does not break one's residency! I was gone for more than 2 weeks, so perhaps I misunderstood what she said and she's just not counting that time as part of the "full 4 months" I need to be in Taiwan - isn't the tax rule for foreign workers similar? i.e., that you need to physically be within Taiwan's borders for 183 days out of the year to qualify for a rebate. I'll see if I can find out any more details.
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Re: NHI, leaving the country for vaca, student status, employment... ?

Postby Lili » 17 Jun 2011, 07:38

(This is from what I've found on translated gov't websites)

To get your ARC you must stay the entire process. Leaving resets the process.
I do not know if this is true for NHI.

NHI is apparently not for students. Article 8 does NOT list "students". Only workers or military, etc.
So unless I work full-time (or some place offers me NHI on part-time), I do not qualify for NHI regardless of ARC status or whatever.
What the fuck.

Also, from what I've learned trying to sort this all out is that it seems all translated govt site are out-dated. The NHI Article you are quoting, odyssey, is from Jan 2010.
Which means the thread like I posted in my first post may be correct (which is also a what the fuck).

Fuck fuck fuck. This sucks. How do I get insurance as a student? I can't use travel insurance- it doesn't cover shit.
GAAAAAAAAAHHHHH
"I wanted to be puzzled and charmed, to experience the endless, beguiling variety of a continent where you can board a train and an hour later be somewhere where the inhabitants speak a different language, eat different foods, work different hours, live lives that are at once so different and yet so oddly similar. I wanted to be a tourist," Bill Bryson.
"...But I ended up in Taiwan," Lili.

Never underestimate how much assistance,
how much satisfaction,
how much comfort,
how much soul and transcendence there might be
in a cold bottle of beer.
-Tom Robbins
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Re: NHI, leaving the country for vaca, student status, employment... ?

Postby Lili » 17 Jun 2011, 07:52

odysseyandoracle wrote:
You will be able to apply for your resident visa 4 months after your landing date in Taiwan - it has nothing to do with class schedules, so don't worry about weeks off/semester changes. So if you have a 60 day visitor's visa you will renew that twice then apply for the resident visa.


I've seen quite a few people saying that, but on the actual ARC forms it says that you are required to apply for an ARC within 15 days of landing.
I don't know what to think but if I have to apply for ARC within 15 days of getting there, I would like to know for sure.

/Edit
http://www.immigration.gov.tw/public/MM ... grants.pdf <---ARC Application
"Foreigners holding resident visa or changing to resident visa should go
to local immigration service center to apply for alien resident certificates
within 15 days counted from the next day of arrival or the next day of
receiving resident visa in Taiwan. (Otherwise, the penalty will be
NT$2,000-10,000.)"

http://www.immigration.gov.tw/ct.asp?xI ... 30085&mp=2
This is the FAQs section. The "How to get ARC" says Processing takes 10 days.

So I don't understand why everyone says 4 months after study you can apply for an ARC.
The govt application clearly says once landing, a foreigner with a resident visa (a student) MUST apply for ARC within 15 days of landing. Then the website for the ARC says it takes about 10 days to process the ARC application.
So it couldn't even take a full month to get it done.

WHY does everyone say 5 different things??
"I wanted to be puzzled and charmed, to experience the endless, beguiling variety of a continent where you can board a train and an hour later be somewhere where the inhabitants speak a different language, eat different foods, work different hours, live lives that are at once so different and yet so oddly similar. I wanted to be a tourist," Bill Bryson.
"...But I ended up in Taiwan," Lili.

Never underestimate how much assistance,
how much satisfaction,
how much comfort,
how much soul and transcendence there might be
in a cold bottle of beer.
-Tom Robbins
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Re: NHI, leaving the country for vaca, student status, employment... ?

Postby scomargo » 17 Jun 2011, 10:49

I think the key words are "resident visa". If you're a newly-arrived student, I believe you're on a visitors/tourist visa, and not a resident visa. I could be wrong, though. It's been about 10 years since I did that.
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Re: NHI, leaving the country for vaca, student status, employment... ?

Postby odysseyandoracle » 17 Jun 2011, 13:30

Yes, scomargo is correct, students are not eligible for resident visas until they've been in Taiwan for 4 months and have registered for full-time classes at least through the following semester. Your visa type will be Visitor, generally for 60 days if you're American (mine was 90 days, but that seems to be rare), and in the remarks section it should say something like this with the name of your school instead of NCCU:

FR-國立政治大學華語文中心
DURATION OF STAY STARTS FROM THE NEXT DAY OF ARRIVAL


When you get your visa, make absolutely sure it has that FR code before you leave the office. It does not matter what the people at the TECO say, assume they know even less than you do about the process - in Taiwan you will quickly discover that every single official has his own personal interpretation of the law. If it does not say FR, you will have problems later on!

Notice that the NHI act says that those who want to apply to the NHI have to fulfill one of those requirements. Article 8 is irrelevant to us. I believe only Article 10 mentions foreign nationals. We are eligible under the first qualification noted:

1.Those who have previously subscribed to this
Insurance or having established a registered
domicile for at least four consecutive months
in the Taiwan area prior to subscription of this
Insurance;


Everyone with residency in Taiwan is eligible for NHI. You don't have to have a job. This is not a quote from an article about the NHI, this is the text of the actual NHI act itself. The difference is that workers are immediately considered residents, whereas students are not. I am here, right now, in Taipei, with several classmates that have NHI. Students are eligible for NHI. Don't worry.

And yes, I would not recommend leaving Taiwan before you get your ARC, though I'd still ask for a multiple-entry visa just in case. It doesn't cost any more, I believe, and you have plenty of reason for having one.

One last thing, the above applies if you don't have a scholarship. There seems to be a different course for those who come on certain government scholarships. I can't really say.
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Re: NHI, leaving the country for vaca, student status, employment... ?

Postby Emahee » 20 Jun 2011, 09:58

Hi All,

I have a similar situation:

ARC Renewal:
-I'm a student with an ARC. I'm leaving the country to go back to the states for the summer, and then to India on exchange. I won't be back in Taiwan until January or February 2012. My ARC expires in September.
--> I should be able to renew my ARC early, no problem, right? It will just renew for a year from my renewal application date.

NHI:
-What should I do about NHI? As a student, I receive monthly bills in the mail and pay at 7/11. Do I just not pay, then pay all the back bills when I return?

Chunghua bills:
- I have a data plan with Zhonghua that I have to pay on a monthly basis. Does anyone know if I can just pay in advance?

I can figure out the Chunghua stuff on my own, just want to know if any of you have been in similar circumstances. Is there anything I'm forgetting or anything I should be aware of with the NHI and ARC stuff? I need to come back to graduate and finish my program in the Spring, and don't want to have issues with re-entry.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: NHI, leaving the country for vaca, student status, employment... ?

Postby Lili » 24 Jun 2011, 05:58

odysseyandoracle wrote:Yes, scomargo is correct, students are not eligible for resident visas until they've been in Taiwan for 4 months and have registered for full-time classes at least through the following semester. Your visa type will be Visitor, generally for 60 days if you're American (mine was 90 days, but that seems to be rare), and in the remarks section it should say something like this with the name of your school instead of NCCU:

FR-國立政治大學華語文中心
DURATION OF STAY STARTS FROM THE NEXT DAY OF ARRIVAL


When you get your visa, make absolutely sure it has that FR code before you leave the office. It does not matter what the people at the TECO say, assume they know even less than you do about the process - in Taiwan you will quickly discover that every single official has his own personal interpretation of the law. If it does not say FR, you will have problems later on!


One last thing, the above applies if you don't have a scholarship. There seems to be a different course for those who come on certain government scholarships. I can't really say.


I'm not on scholarship (although I expect to be by next year so I'll look into that too)

I could've sworn I read/was told that I would be receiving a resident visa right away. I have to remember where I got this info ...see if I understood it.

Thank you so much for all of this info by the way


Emahee wrote:NHI:
-What should I do about NHI? As a student, I receive monthly bills in the mail and pay at 7/11. Do I just not pay, then pay all the back bills when I return?

Sorry, obviously I can't answer your questions. Hopefully someone who knows can help you.

How much do you pay for NHI by the way? And why do you pay at a 7-11? Can't you mail them a money order or your bank account number/CC or pay online?
"I wanted to be puzzled and charmed, to experience the endless, beguiling variety of a continent where you can board a train and an hour later be somewhere where the inhabitants speak a different language, eat different foods, work different hours, live lives that are at once so different and yet so oddly similar. I wanted to be a tourist," Bill Bryson.
"...But I ended up in Taiwan," Lili.

Never underestimate how much assistance,
how much satisfaction,
how much comfort,
how much soul and transcendence there might be
in a cold bottle of beer.
-Tom Robbins
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