|The Government hoped to attract 42,000 new payers in the Mekong Delta province this year.— File Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — People can now pay for social and health insurance at post offices, the same place they go to receive pensions and welfare benefits.
The Viet Nam Social Security Administration and the Viet Nam Post Corporation launched the initiative on October 1 to give rural areas more access to insurance.
During a six-month trial period in 15 provinces, 5,497 voluntary social-insurance payers and 94,144 voluntary health-insurance payers registered for services, generating US$2.9 million in payments.
But the number of insured in certain provinces didn't rise as much as expected. The Government hoped to attract 42,000 new payers in the Mekong Delta province this year, but it may not meet that goal, said Nguyen Thi My Phuong, vice director of Can Tho Social Security.
The province only registered 7, 287 new payers before September, just 17.6 per cent of the target number.
Some people in rural communities have lower incomes, and only buy insurance when they fall ill, Phuong said.
"The main problem is that people are not fully aware of the benefits of having social and health insurance," she said.
The Post Corporation started working on social and health insurance policies for their employees, so they could promote the benefits of being covered by social and health insurances to people who aren't covered.
The northern city of Hai Phong is facing a different challenge: The city's post offices have been overwhelmed by people seeking to register.
Since April the Hai Phong post office has processed 782,000 pension payouts and managed 49,000 pension and welfare accounts, as well as handling an increasing number of people buying insurance.
Pham Thanh Quang, director of the An Lao Post Office, said his post office had been swamped, especially on pension pay days, when it had to process so many cases it was impossible to handle insurance requests. The backup has caused long delays.
Also, due to a lack of co-operation between the Post Corporation and justice departments, pension payments are often still sent to deceased people. This is because local justice departments failed to notify the social security administration of the deaths. — VNS