The Executive Yuan passed its draft act on long-term care insurance yesterday and called for its review and swift passage in the legislature to support the Long-term Care Services Act (長期照護服務法) which cleared the legislature last month.
The long-term care insurance bill is one of two laws that are to regulate the nation’s long-term care system, Minister Without Portfolio Joyce Feng (馮燕) said.
The long-term care insurance system expected to be rolled out in two years and with the allocation of NT$110 billion (US$3.54 billion) in funds, “it is guaranteed that the welfare benefit promised by the new system would surpass what we have now,” Feng said.
The long-term care insurance, as with the National Health Insurance (NHI), would require people pay a proportion of the premium. Policyholders are to shoulder 30 percent, employers 40 percent and the government 30 percent, Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) said.
“The premium rate on payees’ monthly salaries would be 1.19 percent, which is about one-fifth of the NHI premium rate set at 4.91 percent. For a person with a monthly wage of NT$30,300, for example, they would need to pay NT$108 a month,” Feng said.
The original bill drafted by the Ministry of Health and Welfare had set the proportions of the contribution to the premium at 30 percent, 60 percent and 10 percent for individual policyholders, the employers and the government respectively.
The ratio has been adjusted following the protests of business and industry groups.
When asked whether the numbers would be subject to changes again if the groups continue to voice opposition, Feng said the Executive Yuan has reached a consensus over the ratio with the groups, who have said that although the changes are unsatisfactory, they are acceptable.
Of the 30 percent of the NT$110 billion that the government has to shoulder, which is about NT$40 billion, “about NT$10 billion is covered by the budget for the existing long-term care services and welfare, and the rest would be covered by the health surcharges on tobacco products, which could be raised with an extra NT$20 added to the price of each pack of 20, and by a variety of sources of tax revenues including the ‘joint tax on building and land sales’ that the government has proposed and the legislature is expected to pass soon,” Feng said.
Feng said that while it is called “insurance,” the long-term care insurance is more a kind of social welfare.
“It is granted not only to the individual policyholders but their whole families, so they can claim the benefit if any of their family members fall ill and need support,” she said.
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