Working students disadvantaged by 2nd-gen NHI
The China PostBy Joy Lee--Graduate and Ph.D. students with part-time jobs at academic institutions are required to pay more insurance fees due to the supplementary premium scheme under the second generation National Health Insurance (NHI), Taiwan Solidarity Union lawmaker Lin Shih-chia (林世嘉) said yesterday.
January 8, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
Lin said “the second generation NHI should be revised to be based on the total income of each family because the supplementary premium scheme affects many people who live by the income from their part-time jobs.”
The Department of Health (DOH) Minister Chiu Wen-Ta's (邱文達) said the DOH discussed the issue of how to include graduate and Ph.D. students in the supplementary premium scheme. Chiu said, however, that these students are adults with incomes so they should be part of the NHI's mutual help system.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) who also attended the conference said “among over 900,000 atypical employees nationally, 25 percent of them are young people between the age of 15 and 24, including graduate and Ph.D. students who have part-time jobs as research assistants at universities or research organizations.”
National Taiwan University (NTU) Labor Union Secretary General Huang Shou-ta (黃守達) said “schools should be listed as employers and be responsible for the labor and health insurance for students who have part-time jobs at schools.”
Huang said that it is not fair for students who have part-time jobs to pay the NHI premium that they have under their families and the supplementary premium that is based on the income of their part-time jobs.
“I will propose an amendment to remove all articles regarding the supplementary premium scheme in the National Health Insurance Act,” Lin said, “so lawmakers and the government could review issues about the second-generation NHI.”
Chu Tong-kuang (曲同光), a deputy convener of a task force on National Health Insurance (NHI) affairs, said “the supplementary premium scheme was designed to let everyone with income to share the responsibility to help others. Students from families that are qualified as low income are not required to pay the supplementary premium.”
Cheng also said the DPP hoped the government will evaluate the supplementary premium scheme within three months. Otherwise, the government should revise the second-generation NHI scheme so that it is based on the total income of each family.