Taiwan health insurance shows deficit

Insurance might become more expensive from 2021

Taiwan's national health insurance might become more expensive in 2021.

Taiwan's national health insurance might become more expensive in 2021. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – As the health insurance system showed a deficit last year, citizens will probably have to pay 21.32 percent or NT$126 (US$4.29) more per year beginning in 2021, the Central News Agency reported Saturday.

Following legal amendments dating back to 2013, the Bureau of National Health Insurance (健保署) under the Ministry of Health and Welfare has to present a report once every five years about the financial condition of the health insurance system. The measure was designed to make sure that the system did not grow out of control over a span of 25 years, CNA reported.

With premiums falling and other measures coming into effect, extra income soon fell from NT$72.8 billion (US$2.48 billion) in 2013 to NT$7 billion (US$238 million) in 2016, according to the government report.

While income fell, the amount of medical services covered by the insurance system rose dramatically, resulting in a deficit of NT$11 billion (US$374 million) for 2017.

If no corrective measures are taken, that deficit could balloon to NT$99.4 billion (US$3.38 billion) in 2021, officials said.

The 21.32 percent increase proposed for 2021 would still have to be followed by a rise of 6.34 percent in 2024, and of 13.06 percent every three years after that, the government support suggested. Another way out could be an annual increase of 3.77 percent.