Premier Lin Chuan (??) said Thursday that students who come to Taiwan to study for a degree, whether they are Chinese or foreign, will be covered by the nation's health insurance program and be required to pay the full amount of the health insurance premium.
Exchange students coming to Taiwan for short-term study will not be included in the program, the premier said when discussing a planned amendment to the National Health Insurance Act with legislators from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) at a lunch meeting.
"This is because there are too many exchange students," Executive Yuan spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (???) explained.
The premier also hopes that the amendment to the National Health Insurance Act will be passed by the legislature in the current session which ends in December, Hsu said.
During a policy coordination meeting presided over by President Tsai Ing-wen (???) on Oct. 24, it was agreed that Chinese students studying in Taiwan will also be covered by the National Health Insurance system in line with overseas Chinese and foreign students.
It was also agreed that DPP legislators will move to revise the National Health Insurance Act in accordance with the following principles.
First, based on humanitarian and human rights considerations, Chinese students should be treated the same as foreign and overseas Chinese students by including them in the National Health Insurance system.
Second, given limited government resources, foreign, overseas Chinese and Chinese students should pay the full health insurance premium themselves.
However, the rights of overseas Chinese and foreign students who came to Taiwan before the amendment comes into force will not be affected and they will continue to receive a subsidy.
Third, government agencies have the authority to allocate funds from their own budgets if they want to assist poor students or students from specific countries.
Currently, overseas Chinese and foreign students pay 60 percent of the health insurance premium, or NT$749 (US$23.78) per month, with the government covering the remaining 40 percent.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel