Taiwan National Health Plan for Emergency Room Services…
Last Sunday’s bike accident left Sintty with a small bump on the left side of her head and some deep skin abrasions on her left shoulder, elbow and thigh. Fortunately she did not sustain any major injuries to her head except for a small bump. The only injury I received was an automatic free pass right back into the dog house. Something I will take with great relief in exchange for Sintty’s health…all things considered, any day.
Well we got to experience our new health plan at work again for the emergency room coverage under the Taiwan National Health Plan, but unfortunately it was at the expense of Sintty’s injuries. One of the deciding factors in relocating to Taiwan was going to be the cost of our health insurance coverage once my 1 year severance package ended, which ended this past August 15, 2015. I was either going to have to find another job again or pay through the nose under the extended Cobra insurance coverage. Sintty and I currently pay under Taiwan’s National Health Plan for basic coverage, a little more than $25 each a month, for basic coverage with some additional supplementary emergency hospitalization coverage.
We chose the emergency room at Taichung City Hospital as it was a 10 minute ride by car from the bike accident. We walked into the emergency waiting room and registered Sintty’s admittance at a side desk. We gave them her National Health identification card and then she filled out a registration form, then was officially logged into their system. Next to the desk was an adjoining desk where a nurse immediately took Sintty’s vital signs, while interviewing as well as diagramming her injuries. Since Sintty’s injuries were not life threatening, we were then told to sit in the waiting room until her name was called out again to be attended. We then sat down in the waiting room which was typical of any emergency waiting room in the US. It was Sunday mid morning and the waiting room was not filled to occupancy, so that was a good sign. After about 15 minutes, a man in white scrubs came out of an adjoining emergency room and called out Sintty’s name and asked us to walk inside with him. We would later find out that this was one of the emergency room attending doctors. We both walked into a room full of wheeled beds with patients in it and he sat us down at a desk with a keyboard and computer screen and then the doctor asked Sintty to again describe and show her injuries to him. After examining her head and asking symptom related questions, he instructed a nurse to then have her skin abrasions cleaned and dressed, then to have her wait outside to be called by a technician to have a cat scan and to have x-rays performed.
We sat back down in the waiting room and after another 15 minutes passed the cat scan technician appeared and called Sintty’s name out. She was then led to have her head cat scanned and then she was led immediately for X-rays for her shoulder, elbow and legs. This took another 15 minutes and then she came back out into the waiting room. Then about 15 minutes later the same doctor came out of the side emergency room and called us back in, sat us down at the desk, then he basically examined the cat scan and X-rays for the first time, while together with him. He pointed out there were no anomalies in the cat scan and no breakage of bones in any of the x rays. Content with the findings, the doctor then prescribed Sintty some pain killer medication then gave Sintty a receipt to bring out to the waiting room to the front desk where she first registered in.
We gave the receipt to the admitting attendant and she accessed and printed the itemized bill for Sintty’s admittance. The total bill came out to $6,579 NTD or about $210 US of which the Taiwan National Health Plan covered about 92% of her emergency room expenses. Remaining to be paid came out to $512 NTD which is about $15.70 US. That’s right fifteen dollars and seventy cents which consisted of an emergency room service fee, topical medication and dressings, a cat scan, and 3 x-rays. After we paid the bill we walked into a side corridor off the emergency waiting room which led to another part of the hospital that contained the medical dispensary. We had the prescriptions filled out in minutes. The entire emergency room experience took no longer than 1 hour and 30 minutes…and $15.70 US.