Tue, Jan 20, 2009 - Page 4 News List

COMMUNITY COMPASS: Insurance reform over foreign spouses unveiled

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

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About 6,000 foreign spouses married to local citizens who are living near the poverty level will be entitled to the government’s national insurance premium subsidy, a Ministry of the Interior (MOI) official announced on Wednesday.

Those living near the poverty line are defined as people whose household income falls between one to two times the minimum living standard or poverty level for the city or county in which they live.

Household income considered to be in the poverty level is different for each city or county. For Taipei City, the income level is NT$14,000 for each member of the household.

The MOI said it had expanded its subsidies for near-poor foreign spouses through the fund allocated for foreign spouses this year by offering them financial supplements to their national insurance premium costs.

The expanded subsidy was made possible after the Legislative Yuan last Monday passed an amendment that allows the government to raise the tax on cigarette products by NT$10 per pack. Part of the tax income will be appropriated for the national health insurance premium subsidy for low-income citizens, near-poor citizens, as well as foreign spouses of near-poor citizens.

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