Thu, Jun 12, 2014 - Page 4 News List

Ministry to raise NHI supplementary premium threshold

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff writer, with CNA

People insured under the second-generation National Health Insurance (NHI) program may see their financial burden alleviated as the Ministry of Health and Welfare is set to raise the threshold for the imposition of supplementary premiums on income from part-time jobs.

The threshold is to be raised from NT$5,000 (US$155) to that of the minimum monthly wage, which stands at NT$19,074 and is expected to be increased to NT$19,273 next month. Health and Welfare Minister Chiu Wen-ta (邱文達) has given the green light to the proposed threshold rise and the date for its official announcement would be released next week, the ministry said.

Under the current system, a 2 percent supplementary premium is imposed on each NT$5,000 an insured individual earns from six sources — second jobs, rent, interest, stock dividends, professional practice and job bonuses that are more than four times the individual’s monthly salary.

However, the new rule will allow the insured to pay only the supplementary premium when a single income they earn from a secondary job exceeds the minimum monthly wage.

The NHI Administration estimates that approximately 580,000 people will benefit from the new policy, which may reduce the program’s annual surplus by about NT$700 million.

Chu said the new policy is designed to reduce the financial burden on part-time workers who earn small salaries or those who come from an economically disadvantaged families.

“We have also been discussing whether to use the combined incomes of financially disadvantaged insured individuals as a basis for determining their eligibility for exemption from the supplementary premium,” Chu said.

At present, people under the age of 18, students, middle-income families, people with disabilities or those who meet certain economic conditions are exempted from the supplementary premium if their part-time income is lower than the minimum monthly wage.

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