Sat, Apr 07, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Most people still unclear about new health plan: poll

Staff writer, with CNA

Although nine out of 10 office workers in the country have heard of the second-generation National Health Insurance plan, a large majority do not understand it, a survey released recently by a job bank showed.

A total of 59 percent of employees who responded to the 360D job bank poll said they did not know the difference between the current system and the proposed new one.

Among employers, 85 percent of the 98 companies covered in the poll were not clear what the new system entails or did not understand it at all, but 62 percent said they expected the new system to increase their premium burden.

The proposed plan, designed to increase revenues for the nation’s ailing compulsory health insurance program, has proved controversial, prompting the government to postpone its implementation to early next year.

Under the new program, regular premium rates will be reduced from 5.17 percent to 4.91 percent, the calculation based on the monthly salaries of insured individuals up to a certain limit.

However, a supplementary premium of 2 percent will be charged on income additional to regular salaries, such as earnings from part-time jobs, bonuses and subsidies.

Asked about the supplementary premium, 44 percent of respondents said they felt they were being exploited, but there was nothing they could do about it, while 38 percent said they were against it and wanted current rates to remain.

Another 18 percent were in favor of it, saying it was reasonable for those who earned more to pay more in premiums.

The survey was conducted from March 20 to Monday, with 1,341 valid responses. It had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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