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Overseas medical reimbursement reaches NT$169 million: NHIA

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- According to statistics published by the National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) yesterday, there were 70,000 reimbursement applications for overseas medical treatments in the first half of 2014 and the total amount reimbursed reached NT$169 million.

The NHIA stated that the payments increased 8 percent compared to 2013. Most cases and reimbursements were for medical treatment in mainland China, totaling NT$122 million. In second and third place were the United States and Japan, at NT$9.29 million and NT$6.31, respectively.

The NHIA also said that the top three causes of overseas medical treatment were acute upper respiratory infection, dialysis and acute bronchitis. The most common cause of admission to hospital was childbirth at around 230 cases, 187 of which were in the United States.

Lin Bau-feng (林寶鳳), from the Medical Affairs Section of the NHIA, said that citizens can apply for reimbursements within six months of them paying for overseas medical care when an unexpected situation occurred. Citizens can collect reimbursements after the relevant authorities have approved their application.

Lin also stated that there are limitations on the amount that can be paid in each case. The latest regulations state that those receiving outpatient services can apply for a total of NT$1,971. Cases of emergency can qualify for NT$3,235 and admissions to hospital may qualify for NT$7,293 daily.

She reminded citizens that if they are admitted to hospitals in mainland China, they need to take their medical certificates and receipts for medical fees to a local notary public office for notarization. After they return to Taiwan, they need to take these documents to the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) for further certification. Only after finishing these two steps can they apply for medical reimbursement.

The NHIA reminded citizens to evaluate their health condition before going abroad. In addition, it is important for citizens to take care of themselves and prepare personal medicines in case of any unexpected situations.

1 Comment
September 3, 2014    curtisakbar@
I personally think it is wrong to be able to get reimbursements when overseas. NHI should only cover the jurisdiction of the ROC. When overseas, you should get travel insurance to cover your medical costs.

'The most common cause of admission to hospital was childbirth at around 230 cases, 187 of which were in the United States.'

No surprise, as they all want an American passport. This is the hypocrisy of Taiwan, foreign-born individuals automatically gaining dual citizenship due to their parents, whereas others have to give up their citizenship.

Going overseas to give birth isn't an unexpected situation and is an abuse of the system. The government needs to clamp down on this practice.
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