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Taiwan introduces medical insurance rule for Chinese tour groups

Taipei, July 23 (CNA) Taiwan's Tourism Bureau announced Wednesday that with effect from Oct. 1, travel agencies will be required to purchase visitor medical insurance for Chinese tour groups to cover unexpected illness, injuries or death. The bureau said it is tightening its regulations because unpaid medical bills racked up by Chinese visitors to Taiwan over the past few years have reached an estimated NT$100 million. Under the new regulations pertaining to travel permits for visitors from mainland China, all tour groups must be covered by visitor medical insurance, at a minimum of NT$500,000 (approximately US$16,000) for injuries or illness and NT$2 million (approximately US$64,800) for death-related expenses. Currently, travel agencies are only required to purchase liability insurance of NT$2 million for each member of their tour groups. Starting in August, travel agencies are likely to add the cost of visitor medical insurance to the cost of booking group tours, according to a travel industry source. The extra insurance costs will amount to about 50 yuan (approximately US$8) per person for Chinese visitors traveling in tour groups, the source said. Independent Chinese tourists should also be included in the new medical insurance rule, as it is likely to benefit not just the visitors but also travel agencies and hospitals, the source said. (By W.T. Chen and Lillian Lin)

Updated : 2021-09-22 00:28 GMT+08:00