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National Health Insurance in Taiwan

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National health insurance in Taiwan

    These days, rising costs of healthcare as well as the obvious need for healthcare makes health insurance is necessary. When critical illness comes, it is undeniable that the pressure can put on a whole family so that people might need to turn to their life savings for help. Taiwan, a state in East Asia. Their current healthcare system is known as National Health Insurance (NHI), it was instituted in 1995. NHI is a single-payer compulsory social insurance plan which centralizes the disbursement of healthcare funds. The system promises equal access to healthcare for all citizens, and the population coverage had reached 99% by the end of 2004 (Fanchiang, 2008). However, their government is face of increasing loss continuously and the hidden problems are getting worse. This essay will discuss the drawbacks and benefits of their health insurance system.

    First, it is clear that having health insurance is more safety than those without health insurance. Taiwan’s health insurance can cover most of medical costs, include outpatient visits, inpatient care, dental care, traditional Chinese medicine, renal dialysis, and prescription drugs (Cheng, 2015). In addition, every citizen in Taiwan is covered, no matter you are rich or poor, all covered by their “Universal Health Care” and receive the same care. The program was started by mutual assistance concept and the health care service will be given to the users. In contrast, if you don’t have NHI, you will need to pay huge expenses to afford medical costs for any accident or illness.

    However, except these benefits, there are economic concerns to be considered. While health insurance can prevent medical costs, it might be stressed that people need to pay insurance fee every month to maintain their insurance. On the other hand, some medical institutions take this system’s advantage by offering unnecessary treatments to patients and then ask the government pay for the bills. Also, for inpatient care of NHI’s total 2013 expenditures, cancer accounted for 45%, long-term artificial ventilation for 22%, respectively. As of 2011, medical care costs for 861,000 residents was accounted for 29.4% of NHI’s total annual expenditure in 2013 (Cheng, 2015). As a result, there is no doubt that Taiwan’s government is facing financial problems.

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