NHI premiums raised to 5.17%
By ECCT staff writers
Taiwan's national health insurance premium rate has been increased from the current level of 4.69% to 5.17%, effective from 1 January 2021. This is according to an announcement made by Chen Shih-chung, Minister of the Ministry of Health and Welfare on 31 December 2020 and reported in CNA.
According to the report, the adjustment is necessary to offset the losses incurred by the National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) programme, which is expected to post a deficit of NT$77.1 billion and see its reserve fund exhausted by the end of the year.
The rate rise to 5.17% will take premiums back to the same level as in 2013, which were reduced to 4.69% in 2016, while the rate for the supplementary national health insurance premium was cut from 2% to 1.91% at the same time. Chen promised that the rates will be maintained at least through 2022.
Noting that the 1.26 million people who receive a full government subsidy under the programme will not be affected by the premium rate hike, Chen pointed out that individuals making NT$24,000, NT$30,000, NT$70,000 and NT$180,000 per month will pay NT$34, NT$44, NT$105 and NT$262 more per month, respectively.
On average, employees will see their national health insurance premium increase by NT$63 per month, with 70% having to pay an increase of less than NT$70 per month, he said.
NHIA Director-General Lee Po-chang has also announced that the government is planning to ban Taiwanese expats from reclaiming their national health insurance rights once they stop paying the premium. In the future, foreign-based Taiwanese nationals must continue to pay NHIA premiums no matter how long they remain abroad, as long as they maintain their household registration in Taiwan. If they stay overseas for more than two years and their household registration is cancelled by Taiwanese authorities, they will be required to wait at least six months to apply to restore their household registration before being allowed to re-join the NHIA programme, according to the report.