TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Babies born to foreign nationals legally residing in Taiwan will automatically receive national health insurance, instead of having to wait for an extended period of time, based on a draft bill which passed an initial screening by a legislative committee on Thursday.
According to the existing National Health Insurance Act, babies born to foreigners residing in Taiwan must wait six months before they are eligible for Taiwan's national health insurance. Out of concern for the health of such babies during that period, legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party proposed the amendment.
The Legislature's Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee today reviewed the draft amendment to Article 9, paragraph 3 of the National Health Insurance Act. In its written report, the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) pointed out that newborns of Taiwanese parents automatically receive health insurance and do not have such a waiting period, so there is no reason why the children of foreign residents should not enjoy the same insurance coverage.
MOHW vice minister Tsai Sen-tien (蔡森田) told reporters that in the future, as long as the parents are legal residents, it will not matter whether they are white collar or blue collar, their babies will be automatically receive insurance coverage. To go into effect, the bill will need to pass the third reading in the legislature, said Tsai.
In response to concerns that pregnant women from China will abuse this new regulation and give birth to babies in Taiwan in order automatically receive Taiwan's health insurance, MOHW official Huang Tai-ping (黃泰平) explained that adults from mainland China who work in Taiwan do not have a residence permit, rather they are entry and exit permits, and they originally were not eligible for Taiwan's health insurance themselves, naturally their children are not either.
The committee agreed to the ministry's proposal and passed the initial screening of the draft bill.