Long-term Care Insurance Bill likely to launch in 2018: Mao
In further addressing the issue of elderly health care, Premier Mao Chi-kuo ( ) announced yesterday that the Executive Yuan has finished its reading of the “Longterm Care Insurance Bill” (
), which is estimated to launch in 2018, and aims to help both the disabled and their families.
Legislators passed the third reading of the Long-term Care Services Bill last month, which had sat in the Legislative Yuan for four years. The Ministry of Health and Welfare then pushed for the insurance bill in order to fund the care services, and after two weeks of negotiations with labor groups, the billpassed inspections yesterday at the Executive Yuan.
Minister without Portfolio Feng Yen ( ) reported during the weekly Executive Yuan meeting that if the Legislative Yuan passes the bill without delay, the insurance program will launch in 2018 with a backing of NT$110 billion, and estimates it will service approximately 820,000 people.
The Long- term Care Insurance Bill mandates that all R.O.C citizens and those registered with the census in the R.O.C. to carry a minimum level of health insurance, starting from their time of birth, and that citizens be placed into six categories, namely employees, employers, farmers, fishermen, soldiers and the unemployed. Mao reported that insurance rates are set at 1.19 percent during the first to third year of the insurance project. On the other hand, he also said that employers, individuals and the government must cover insurance costs at 40 percent, 30 percent and 30 percent, respectively.
Feng explained that if an individual has a NT$30,000 monthly salary, he or she will need to cover NT$108 of health costs. For those with a monthly salary of NT$50,000, they will need to cover NT$180, which is one-fifth of the National Health Insurance costs.
Moreover, Feng said that the disabled are categorized into four levels. An insured disabled person will get free service hours rang- ing from 15 to 93 every month. If severely disabled cases have been deemed eligible by the government, such as disablement for an estimated or at least six months, and require full-day house-based care services, they are also given NT$21,300 monthly.
Long-Term Insurance Funding
In order to fund the insurance project at NT$ 110 billion, the government must budget NT$40 billion every year, said Feng, further explaining that the Legislative Yuan could consider combining the Long-term Care Insurance with the consolidated housing and land tax and the Health and Welfare Surcharge on Tobacco Products.
For now, people eligible for the current version of the long-term insurance are those for which any of the following conditions apply: rare diseases, disabled since birth (such as acquired brain injuries or brain abnormalities), and those disabled due to work-related in- juries confirmed by government assessment. Applicants can also apply to transfer from labor to the long-term insurance.
Carers look after the elderly in this undated photo. The Executive Yuan passed the “Long-term Care Insurance Bill” (
) yesterday, and sent it to the Legislative Yuan for further reading. A government official said that individuals with a monthly salary of NT$30,000 will need to cover NT$108 of health costs. Officials stated that they hope to see the bill implemented in 2018.