Two Department of Health (DOH) committees yesterday proposed a postponement of the second-generation National Health Insurance (NHI) program to allow for better preparation.
The proposal was made during the first joint meeting of the NHI Supervisory Committee and the NHI Medical Expenditure Negotiation Committee.
According to Eva Teng (滕西華) of the NHI Supervisory Committee, most committee members think it would be too rushed to implement the new system on July 1, because more than 50 related by-laws have yet to be promulgated.
In addition, many employers have no idea how to calculate the premium deductions from workers’ salaries, Teng said.
Chu Tong-kuang (曲同光), deputy convener of a DOH task force overseeing the NHI program, said the committees’ opinions would be conveyed to the Executive Yuan.
If the government decides to go ahead with the second-generation NHI in July as scheduled, the DOH will make sure that the essential work is completed by the end of May and all preparations finished by July, Chu said.
He also promised that the premium rates for the second-generation NHI would be lower than the current 5.17 percent.
According to an amendment last year to the National Health Insurance Act (全民健康保險法) that is scheduled to take effect in July, individuals will pay 4.91 percent of their regular monthly salary for NHI coverage.
Meanwhile, an additional 2 percent could be charged based on six categories of income, outside of salaries — bonuses more than four times the individual’s monthly salary, income from professional practice, stock dividends, interest, rent and moonlighting.
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