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Health insurance subsidy to cover all children from poor families

Health insurance subsidy to cover all children from poor families

Taipei, Dec. 31 (CNA) Health insurance premiums for children and adolescents under 18 from low-income families will be fully subsidized by the government starting Jan. 1, 2009, Minister of the Interior Liao Liou-yi announced Wednesday.
The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) has allocated NT$100 million (US$3.05 million) in its 2009 budget to serve that end in the initial stage, and some 110,000 underprivileged children and teenagers are expected to be covered under the program, Liao said. The program has been expanded from coverage of children under three years old from poor families.
The newly modified measure is aimed at guaranteeing proper medical care for such children and teenagers and helping to ease the financial burden on their families at a time when the country is in economic straits, Liao said.
Liao made the announcement at a news conference at the MOI.
Premier Liu Chao-shiuan, who was also present, said the government is prepared to take better care of the poor despite the challenges resulting from the global financial crisis.
The premier said he has asked Liao to call an inter-ministerial meeting after the Lunar New Year in late January to discuss the establishment of a social security network that would involve a comprehensive upgrade of social security and welfare mechanisms, as more and more people are losing their jobs due to the global economic recession.
(By Flor Wang)