Government urged to improve insurance subsidy system
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The government should move to review its insurance premium subsidy system and explore new sources of funds needed to cover the growing costs the government should shoulder, and lawmakers have been advised to raise the premium rates of various social insurance programs, according to a report released by the Budget Center of the Legislative Yuan.
September 22, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
There are six kinds of social insurance covered in the report, namely labor insurance, military servicemen insurance, farmers' health insurance, civil servants insurance, national health insurance, and national annuity insurance.
The report said as the government now subsidizes certain ratios of premium payments for various social insurance based on the occupations or titles of the insured, the financial burden on the government will certainly become heavier and heavier along with the ever-rising insurance premium rates.
Take the labor insurance for example. Over the past 10 years, the labor insurance rate has been hiked by 2 percent, making the government's insurance premium subsidy almost double to NT$49.25 billion in 2013 from NT$25.11 billion in 2003, according to the report.
Based on the statistics offered by the Bureau of Labor Insurance, there were as many as 9.77 million people covered by labor insurance as of 2012, and the government will face an additional labor insurance premium subsidy of NT$3.192 billion for every hike of 0.5 percent to the labor insurance rate. As the labor insurance rate is slated to be raised from 8 percent in 2013 to 11 percent in 2023, the government should see a large annual increase of NT$19.14 billion in premium subsidies, constituting a heavy burden on the national coffers.
The same report also showed that the government will witness an annual increase of NT$1.506 billion in subsidies for every hike of 0.1 percent to national health insurance. Likewise, the government should bear a heavier subsidy burden of NT$681 million, NT$389 million and NT$934 million for every raise of 1 percent in civil servants insurance, military servicemen insurance, and farmers' health insurance, respectively.
To counter, the Budget Center suggested that employers and employees should jointly bear larger ratios of insurance premiums than the existing 60 percent to ease the financial burden on the government.