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NHI to revise premium plan, add income source

National Health Insurance (NHI) authorities yesterday decided to revise the program's supplementary premium scheme to reduce its impact on the general public and financial institutions, but added one more item to the list of contributing income sources.

Under the new scheme, which will take effect next year, the NHI program will obtain 2 percent from each NT$5,000 or more in payments from people's extra incomes, Health Minister Chiu Hung-ta said.

It is a revision from the previous NT$2,000, a low threshold that has drawn complaints from the people and financial institutions, particularly banks that have already seen customers scrambling to split their accounts to avoid the extra premiums.

Chiu said raising the threshold will reduce the number of people who have to pay supplementary premiums.

An estimated that 17 percent of the people would have had to pay extra premiums under the original scheme, but now the proportion will only be 15 percent, he added.

The Department of Health (DOH) now expects an extra NT$20 billion in annual income from the supplementary premiums, down from the originally estimated NT$23.6 billion.

But the DOH added another item to the list of extra incomes that have to contribute to the universal health care program.

Stock dividends payable in shares will also be included in the scheme. Only cash dividends were in the original plan.

The premiums will be based on the face value of the shares (all Taiwan shares carry a face value of NT$10 each).

That means that for every 500 shares in stock dividends, NT$100 will go to the NHI program.

Currently, NHI premiums are based on the insured people's regular incomes, mostly monthly salaries.

But in order to prevent the financially troubled health care program from going bankrupt, the DOH has come up with a new scheme requiring people to pay supplementary premiums from their extra incomes.

Extra incomes include bonuses, wages from moonlighting jobs, interest from savings, stock dividends and rent.

1 Comment
October 4, 2012    curtisakbar@
I pay close to 2 grand a month for my family to be enrolled in the NHI and I still have to pay 450 for seeing the doctor for a routine check-up which clinics can't do, so I have to go to the hospital. Also, if I have an emergency I need to pay 750 for the hospital visit not including any medical costs incurred. So what is my money paying for? So some drug company can get rich by over-charging on medicine? The whole industry is messed up, we should pay a flat fee depending on income and then have universal health care and the government should deal with drug companies etc. Not individual hospitals and doctors.
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