Ex-minister refuses offer from DOH, to be civil NHI advisor
By Joy Lee, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Former Health Minister Yaung Chih-liang yesterday turned down an offer from the Department of Health (DOH), instead choosing to be the new advisor for the Civil National Health Insurance (NHI) Committee.
January 17, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
Yaung denied rumors that he had already promised the department he would serve as its expert representative on its own NHI Committee.
“It was purely speculation. I did not agree to be the expert representative of the DOH's committee,” Yaung said.
Yaung is among many former NHI and DOH officials who have agreed to be advisors for the Civil NHI Committee. However, no one has so far agreed to be one of the five expert representatives for the DOH's NHI Committee.
According to the DOH, its official NHI Committee will consist of 35 members, including five experts, and will be in charge of the rate of insurance fees and the distribution of NT$500 billion medical expenses.
Yuang said that the official NHI Committee is responsible for distributing the insurance fees.
“Whoever becomes a member of the official NHI Committee has to take on the stress of making policies that can help with the sustainable development of Taiwan's NHI system,” Yuang said.
It is required by law that the DOH turn in the list of NHI Committee members by the end of January, local reports have said.
The Civil NHI Committee aims to monitor the DOH's council, which will consist of over 10 civil organizations.
NHI System Adjustment
The Legislative Yuan passed a Kuomintang (KMT) proposal on Tuesday to ask the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) to provide more funding to cover the second-generation NHI supplementary premium for welfare organizations.
Under the second-generation NHI system, many social welfare organizations are registered as “employers” and are responsible for the extra supplementary premium on the expenses they cover when holding government-contracted events.
KMT Legislator Chiang Hui-chen (江惠貞) said that after the passing of the proposal, welfare organizations will receive subsidies directly from the MOI.
The DOH also announced that the threshold will be increased for graduate and Ph.D. students who work at schools to pay the supplementary premium.
According to the DOH, students who work at school have to pay a supplementary premium if their monthly income is over NT$18,780.
The Legislative Yuan, however, did not pass the DPP's proposal earlier this week to also increase the threshold for other groups, such as the unemployed and housewives.