The National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) is revising a rule that allows overseas Taiwanese to temporarily suspend payments of health insurance premiums, NHIA Director-General Lee Po-chang (李伯璋) said yesterday.
After the revision, only those who live abroad for more than two years would be allowed to discontinue the premium payments, he said.
Those impacted by the rule change — Taiwanese living abroad for six month to two years — could resume their health insurance coverage immediately by paying their premiums for the period that coverage was suspended, Lee said.
However, the back payment fees would be capped at five years, he added.
The new policy is expected to affect more than 170,000 people, Lee said.
Under the existing regulations, Taiwanese who live abroad for more than six months can suspend coverage.
Those who leave Taiwan for two to four years have their household registration automatically suspended, excluding them from health coverage.
However, their insurance is immediately restored after the household registration is reactivated.
Those who have left Taiwan for more than four years can restore their health insurance coverage six months after the day of their return.
The new measures are being drafted over concerns that Taiwanese who permanently live abroad could temporarily resume their health insurance coverage and visit the nation for medical treatment, Lee said.
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