NHIA to recover NHI fees of NT$600 million
By Queena Yen ,The China Post
August 19, 2014, 12:05 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) said yesterday that it plans to recover about NT$600 million in National Health Insurance (NHI) fees from the period 2012-2013 after it started investigating health insurance cases from before the launching of the second-generation NHI program last year.
Among other discoveries, the NHI found that the Ministry of Labor (MOL) will need to pay back NT$250 million owed by some people working in unions over the past two years.
The NHI pointed out that there are currently six categories in the second-generation NHI program, further divided into 15 different insurance schemes depending on people's professions. Each of the schemes has different regulations and subsidies for those who fall under it. However, some people take advantage of the law and choose to apply for schemes that have lower insurance fees.
Several years ago, supermodel Lin Chi-ling (林志玲) was famously found to have applied for an NHI program that required her to pay only about NT$600 in fees every month.
Ye Feng-ming (葉逢明), head of the enrollment division of the NHIA, said that citizens who have additional income, including salary from part-time jobs and bonuses, need to pay a supplementary premium according to the second-generation NHI rules. However, some commission-based professions like insurance salespeople and real estate agents can apply for insurance with lower rates through unions.
Cheng Mu (程穆), an employee of the enrollment division, also said they have found that 9,400 people underreported their incomes in order to pay less in insurance fees in 2012. Most of these people may earn around NT$1 million a year. They applied, however, for the scheme meant for people who have a monthly income between NT$22,800 and NT$43,900 and only pay the minimum.
Recovery Expected to Cost MOL NT$100 Million
The NHIA has already issued letters to these individuals, demanding they make restitution. The recovered fees are expected to amount to NT$150 million this year. In addition, since the MOL needs to bear 40 percent of the unions' insurance fees, it will need to pay NT$100 million of the NT$150 million.
Director-General of Department of Labor Insurance at the MOL Shih Fa-chi (石發基) responded to the issue yesterday, saying that the MOL has not received a letter from NHIA yet, and it is therefore hard to comment on this issue. Shih stated that once the MOL has received the letter, it will investigate the unions to see if there are actually cases in which they underreported members' incomes. Shih also pointed out that most members of unions are freelancers so it may be hard for them to carry out their investigation.
In addition, Shih said that the MOL does not have its own income, so if it needs to pay for the restitution, it will need the government to issue a budget for the payment.