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When you visit a doctor, the National Health Insurance Administration will cover most of your examination and medication costs. All you need to pay is a co-payment.

1.Please visit a clinic first; get a referral to a hospital if necessary

(1)To ensure that each level of health care institution can provide patients with the most appropriate care, we suggest that you should seek outpatient treatment at a local clinic and stick to one doctor to get basic care. If a hospital stay or a further procedure or test is necessary, the clinic will refer you to a hospital.

(2)The benefit of doing this is twofold: you can develop a complete medical record at the clinic while receiving specialized medical care and you can avoid wasting money and time running around to different health care institutions.

2.Visiting a hospital without a referral costs more

(1)Under the referral system that took effect on July 15, 2005, the basic outpatient co-payment at clinics was fixed at NT$50. If follow-up care is necessary, the clinic's doctor can refer the patient to a regional hospital or medical center. The first visit to a hospital within one month of an outpatient or emergency procedure or a hospital stay, or a new mother's first checkup within six weeks after being discharged from the hospital, are all treated as referral visits.

(2)If individuals go directly to district hospitals, regional hospitals or medical centers without a referral (except for dental care and traditional Chinese medicine therapy), the basic outpatient co-payment will be NT$30, NT$100, and NT$150 higher, respectively, than if they had a referral. There is no difference in the co-payment for medication if you bypass clinics and go directly to a hospital for a checkup.