Senin, 29 Maret 2010
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's Bureau of National Health Insurance (BNHI) released a statement yesterday (Wednesday) clarifying that top model Lin Chih-ling has already made up her health insurance premium with no payment owed to the bureau.
The statement was issued following a media report saying that Lin, rated as a top model with an enviable high income, had failed to make her premium payment for three years.
The report has drawn criticisms about the financial loopholes in the NHI system and the negligence of the BNHI.
Officials at the BNHI under the Department of Health (DOH) said Lin revised her status as an employer to join the NHI program starting in March 2007, liable to a premium payment of S$265 per month.
But the existing regulations allow people who have to make frequent trips abroad due to work or other factors to apply for a suspension of payment when they stay overseas of more than six months. They may apply for resumption of the insurance coverage after returning to Taiwan, said the officials.
Concerning Lin's case, she has already made up the payment because none of her overstays exceeded six months in recent years, they added.
The officials said there are presently between 10,000 and 20,000 people who apply for suspension or resumption of the NHI coverage each month and it is impossible for the bureau to keep monitoring every single case.
But they conceded that under the current regulations, there is such a possible loophole for alleged evasion or delay of payment in case policyholders fail to make timely payment by neglect or elaborate effort.
However, the problem should be able to be solved after the Cabinet and lawmakers ratify the new set of rules governing the new generation of NHI program.
President Ma Ying-jeou and Premier Wu Den-yih have made a decision to introduce the second-generation health insurance plan, which would calculate premiums based on total household incomes with additional and enhanced rules to plug loopholes, within two years to improve the long-term financial viability of the NHI program, said the officials.