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《TAIPEI TIMES》 50,000 people underpaid NT$732m in NHI premiums


A man walks past the National Health Insurance Administration building in Taipei in an undated photograph. 
Photo: CNA

A man walks past the National Health Insurance Administration building in Taipei in an undated photograph.  Photo: CNA

2023/11/28 03:00

By Lee I-chia / Staff reporter, with CNA

A National Health Insurance Administration’s (NHIA) investigation has found that about 50,000 insured people last year paid lower National Health Insurance (NHI) premiums that did not correspond to their salaries, resulting in a shortfall of NT$732 million (US$23.19 million) in premium income.

The NHI program classifies insured people into six categories depending on their employment status, with premiums varying by category.

NHI premiums for “category 1” (people working for a company, the government or other organizations, with a fixed employer) and “category 2” (people who are self-employed, employed but without a fixed employer, or members of a trade union) are calculated based on the monthly income they report to the NHIA.

Using individual income tax returns filed with the Ministry of Finance for reference, the NHIA conducts periodic checks of the monthly income of insured individuals. It found that 50,700 insured people had paid premiums that were lower than their income bracket for last year.

While last year’s figure was far lower than the 114,662 cases in 2020, it resulted in a loss of NT$732 million in insurance premiums, which is higher than 2020’s shortfall of about NT$648 million, the health insurance agency said.

NHIA official Chang Wen-wen (張溫溫) cited as an example an employee in the wholesale and retail industry who had an annual income of about NT$3.5 million, but whose insurance premium payment was NT$46,304 less than they should have paid.

Chang said that some employers use tactics such as dividing an employee’s salary into two parts, keeping the fixed monthly salary low, and using bonuses or other methods to pay the other part of the salary, to keep NHI premiums low.

In cases like this, the NHIA would ask said companies to make the appropriate changes, Chang said.

As for insured individuals who had paid lower NHI premiums, the NHIA would ask them to pay for the shortfall, or fine them twice or four times the amount due if their actions were deemed intentional, the agency said.

新聞來源:TAIPEI TIMES

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