Amendment offers more benefits for health insurance holders

New health insurance amendment will expand card holders’ additional benefit and enjoyment in order to increase poor people’s access to medical services and to encourage more people to get health insurance, said Tong Thi Song Huong, director of the Department of Health Insurance under the Ministry of Health.

Tong Thi Song Huong ( Photo: SGGP)

The new law will take effect on January 1, 2015. It contains quite a lot of important changes.  For instance, health insurance poor patients and people from the ethnic minority groups in very disadvantaged districts don’t have to pay 5-20 percent of the final cost any more.

Martyrs’ fathers, mothers, wives, children and those who brought up martyrs don’t need to pay 20 percent of the total cost of treatment.

In addition, other relatives of martyrs and families named as close to poverty line will pay just 5 percent of the total hospital cost instead 20 percent like before.

The State budget will pay 100 percent of expenses on treatment for those who have participated in health insurance in five concecutive years and their hospital fee is over basic salaries in six months.

The new law also gives more benefit to those who have received treatment at public big city hospitals or at facilities they did not registered with beforehand.

The government and the Ministry of Health also issued preferential policies for low-income people especially fishermen and pay for health insurance for residents in islands.

The amendment also regulates that medical insurance is set to become compulsory to manifest the determination of health insurance coverage for the country’s population. Accordingly, the government will support a group of people to join in health insurance as well as adjust medical services.

Moreover, the amendment encourages people to join medical insurance in family group to get the special treatment. For example, the first family member pays a premium of 6 per cent of their basic salary; but the second, third and fourth will pay less than this, declining from 70 per cent of the first member’s paid premium for the second family member to 50 per cent for the fourth, and for the fifth member, the premium is equal to only be 40 per cent of the first member’s.

Importantly, from January 1, 2016 card holders can come to any hospital in communes and districts for examination and treatment. This facilitates health insurance participants’ access to medical services. Health insurance participants from poor households and from ethnic minority groups can visit any hospital in the country.

More drugs are included in treating insurance card holders. Many of them are new medications for treating heart disease, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.

By Minh Khang - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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