Electronic health records (EHRs) can provide researchers with extraordinary opportunities for population-based research. The National Health Insurance system of Taiwan was established in 1995 and covers more than 99.6% of the Taiwanese population; this system’s claims data are released as the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD). All data from primary outpatient departments and inpatient hospital care settings after 2000 are included in this database. After a change and update in 2016, the NHIRD is maintained and regulated by the Data Science Centre of the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Taiwan. Datasets for approved research are released in three forms: sampling datasets comprising 2 million subjects, disease-specific databases, and full population datasets. These datasets are de-identified and contain basic demographic information, disease diagnoses, prescriptions, operations, and investigations. Data can be linked to government surveys or other research datasets. While only a small number of validation studies with small sample sizes have been undertaken, they have generally reported positive predictive values of over 70% for various diagnoses. Currently, patients cannot opt out of inclusion in the database, although this requirement is under review. In conclusion, the NHIRD is a large, powerful data source for biomedical research.