Second generation national health care set for July: DOH

By Camaron Kao,The China Post

Department of Health (DOH) Minister Chiu Wen-ta (邱文達) said yesterday that the second generation national health insurance program will be ready to go in July, despite a suggestion at a March 23 Bureau of National Health Insurance (BNHI, 中央健保局) meeting to postpone its implementation. The final decision, however, will be made by the Executive Yuan, stated Chiu. Government spokesman Philip Yang (楊永明) said yesterday that the Executive Yuan has not yet decided the final date of implementation. According to local media, members of the BNHI meeting unanimously agreed that the majority of companies and citizens are still confused about the second generation health care system and thus its implementation should be postponed.

The new health care system aims to include income other than salaries as the base for the fee. By collecting 2 percent of income other than salaries, the BNHI can get more money to finance the system and decrease the percentage BNHI collects from salaries.

The DOH has submitted to the Executive Yuan four editions of drafts and evaluations based on four salary rates: 4.91 percent, 5 percent, 5.05 percent, and 5.17 percent, stated Chiu. The current rate on salaries is 5.17 percent. NHI Premium Plan Met

with Skepticism The BNHI reported its premium plan to the Supervisory Board of the National Health Insurance (全民健保監理委員會) yesterday. Board members voiced their concerns over the money the BNHI can get under the new system. The premium is based on the rate of 4.91 percent. The BNHI expected that it can collect NT$20.8 billion (US$693 million) from nonsalary income.

Board member Eva Teng (滕西華) stated that the BNHI is too optimistic about the money it can collect from nonsalary income. Another member said that the BNHI will collect NT$24.8 billion (US$827 million) less from salaries, and the BNHI has no previous experience collecting money from nonsalary income. DOH Deputy Governor Chu Tong-kuang (曲同光) stated that the government is considering whether to include stock dividends as the base of collecting fees.