Chinese visitors to Taiwan must have health insurance

Chinese visitors have unpaid healthcare bills of NT$100 million, so Taiwan makes travel health insurance compulsory.

Due to having to pick up the costs for unpaid healthcare bills run up by Chinese visitors, and arguments over who has to pay, the Taiwanese government has had enough. NT$4 million in unpaid expenses in 2014 is part of a recent unpaid total of NT$100 million.

Several medical disputes occurred in recent years when uninsured mainland tourists required medical services in Taiwan due to chronic or unexpected illness and left without paying their hospital bills

Tourists from Mainland China to Taiwan will need to obtain tourism health insurance before applying for visas into Taiwan from October.

The Tourism Bureau has announced that starting on October 1, travel agencies will be required to purchase visitor medical insurance for Chinese tour groups to cover unexpected illness, injuries or death.

Under the new regulations, travel agencies must purchase a minimum of NT$500,000 in medical insurance per visitor to cover injuries or illness and NT$2 million for death-related expenses.

Travel agencies are likely to add the cost of medical insurance to the cost of booking group tours, a travel industry source said.

It is not yet clear if independent Chinese tourists are also included in the new health insurance rule, but that will be clarified soon.

Chinese travellers visiting Taiwan for health checks or treatment will still have to buy the insurance.