What is going to happen to me over the next nine months? What is it like to be pregnant in Taiwan? Pregnancy questions, birth stories and other topics relevant to this special time in your life.
Moderator: Just Jennifer
We recently took our baby in to see a pediatrician for a general check-up, and we were told by the doctor that we saw that the baby would use my NHI for two months, and then would be without NHI for two months before she was eligible for her own card. (She wasn't aware that the waiting period had changed from four months to six months of residence to receive NHI, so I let her know that.) I was only charged NT$100 for the visit, so it looks like the previous poster's experience is correct. Even though I was told by the NHI office that my baby wouldn't be covered by my NHI for 60 days, that's how local clinics are billing us. Also, I only received one bill from the birthing center I had my daughter at, and everything that was supposed to be covered by the NHI was - for both me and her. I'm not sure if big hospitals would be different, but it appears that regular health clinics will treat us like the locals and allow our babies to be covered by the mother's NHI for 60 days. If anyone has experienced anything different, please let me know!
We had exactly the same experience, first 2 months covered under mom. For anyone concerned about insurance, check with your employer to see if they have group insurance, luckily mine does and practically all my wifes medical bills for giving birth and my sons bills for a stay in hospital were re-inbursed by the group insurance.
I thought I'd share what my wife and I did as it might be helpful for others. We are both foreigners and found out soon after she got pregnant that the baby wouldn't be covered under NHI. We heard stories of other foreigners having their babies prematurely and incurring massive hospital bills as a result, so we started looking into private insurance options.
We looked into several different options both in Taiwan and internationally. Along with NHI, we both have private insurance through Shin Kong. When we asked Shin Kong whether they would cover our baby they said they would, but that he would need to first have an ARC. Also, the baby would need to be underwritten (i.e. a review of his medical records) before they would agree to cover him. Basically if there were any complications and/or medical issues when he was born they would deny or limit coverage. We heard the same thing from other private Taiwanese insurance companies. Since we were looking for an insurance option to cover emergencies this obviously wouldn't work.
So we started looking at private international insurance that would cover the baby automatically so that there wouldn't be an underwriting process. We found several plans where if the mother enrolled in coverage the baby would be covered automatically after birth. Note that since she was already pregnant the plans wouldn't include any maternity coverage benefits, but this wasn't an issue for us as we both have NHI.
We decided to purchase a plan for my wife from Now Health International (http://www.now-health.com/). They had a couple of different options and the one we chose was roughly $2,000 USD per year for my wife and then another $1,000 USD roughly per year once the baby was born (note you can pay the insurance fee monthly if you want). The plan seems pretty reasonable and has a deductible of $25 USD, which means that we'll get reimbursed for any doctor's visits more than that. My wife purchased the plan when she was about 4 months pregnant, but you could probably wait a little closer to the due date if you want to save money. Our baby was born about 3 weeks ago and we contacted Now a few days later. They were very easy to work with and we just had to provide the baby's details and then they provided coverage immediately without any review.
I checked the company out and they seem very legit and I don't think we'll have any issues. But having said that I distrust most insurance companies so until we actually submit a claim for reimbursement I can't be 100% sure there won't be any issues.
Obviously we would prefer not to have to pay the $3,000 USD for the year, but it was worth it to us not to have to worry about emergency situations. Also, as a side benefit we'll be able to use the coverage for the baby if we do any traveling.
Dear Expecting Parents,
I wrote the original post on this issue. My position as Director of a chamber of commerce in Taipei has allowed me to contact directly with the National Development Council and to receive replies to my letters to the National Health Insurance Bureau. It is important to note that all of my inquires and letters have been met with the understanding that this law should be changed.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare, at the request of interested legislators, has already requested that the Legislative Yuan end the requirement of a 6-month waiting period for newborns with foreign parents that hold NHI during the pregnancy. The MOHW has heard no objections. Moreover, the legislation process is shortened by the proposal being made to the Legislative Yuan, meaning it skips the process of application through the Executive Yuan first. We hope that in the coming session the current Legislator will accept the proposal.
I hope that the NDC and MOHW will inform me of the decision but I will continue to follow-up regardless. The problem no longer applies to me of course. My 18 month old who first prompted this post is my second and last baby. However, I understand the stress new parents are under already and I hope that the change of this law will set minds at least a little bit more at ease.
hello, Any updates in the NHI policy for newborns to foreign parents so far ? We are expecting a baby in four months. If the NHI is still not providing coverage to newborns then can anybody point us towards a good private health insurance company. Thanks
The last post on this topic mentions that the Taiwanese government was considering amending this law. Do you know if it happened?
Unfortunately, I am not posting with helpful information, but with links to fundraisers for two families recently affected by this NHI policy.
Twins Amira & Emmeline Brüll-Reinhold*
*I remember a Wolf Reinhold from F.com Any relation?
Make magical, musical memories with your child at Kindermusik with Jennifer Joy
Jeez I hate the legislature. Just like to get that out there.
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But you got to ask yourself the question....what would astronaut Chris Hatfield do?
The law has finally been amended. Newborns are now covered by NHI.