Innovative efforts to improve voluntary social insurance participation

December 05, 2022 - 10:21
Due to the impact of COVID-19, many people are reluctant to participate in voluntary social insurance as their income has decreased.
Nguyễn Quốc Trường, a social insurance agent and communal judicial offer in the southern Bình Phước Province, advises locals on voluntary social insurance. — VNA/VNS Photo

TRÀ VINH/BÌNH PHƯỚC — In advocating for people to take care of their future welfare, officials have come up with new initiatives for voluntary social insurance participation.

Due to the impact of COVID-19, many people are reluctant to participate in voluntary social insurance as their income has decreased.

The increase in the premium according to the new poverty line is also one of the challenges for them.

Addressing the situation, cities and provinces have thought of new, flexible initiatives to encourage more people to participate in voluntary social insurance in their local context.

In 2020, Trà Vinh Province's Women's Union came up with the idea to build a 'piggy bank' for voluntary social insurance.

In this model, the union's members will take out a small amount each day for their piggy bank, which would then be used to pay the premium for voluntary social insurance.

At the most basic level, each person only needs to save VNĐ10,000 (US$0.4) a day.

Nguyễn Thị Thu Tư, a union member, said that the method is simple and convenient, helping the group to not only be aware of saving up but also be assured about the future with pension and health insurance.

Tư said: "I also encouraged my daughter, son and daughter-in-law to participate.

"After some time, I see that I could choose the suitable payment level for me, it is very flexible, and I no longer have to worry too much about old age."

In the past two years, despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, Trà Vinh Province's social insurance agency and women's union hosted more than 300 seminars to promote voluntary social insurance, as well as household health insurance, in its nine districts.

The events resulted in 632 voluntary insurance participants in 2020 and more than 1,800 in 2021.

Meanwhile, Bù Đăng District in the southern Bình Phước Province has only reached 600 out of its goal of 2,200 people participating in the voluntary insurance in 2022.

Local authorities said that people are more likely to apply for health insurance, as the benefits could be seen immediately after each medical examination.

They said it is more challenging to advocate for voluntary social insurance as the payment period is much longer.

Following the encouragement of the district's People's Committee, many Party members in the area have registered and paid voluntary social insurance premiums for their parents.

When the insured are retired, they will enjoy pension and free health insurance, which would also be more reassuring for their children.

Nguyễn Văn Lưu, deputy chairman of Bù Đăng District People's Committee, said he believed that with the local Party members as the pioneer and the supervision of the local management, the situation is expected to improve shortly.

At the commune level, officials are also active and flexible in their advocacy.

Nguyễn Quốc Trường, a social insurance agent and commune judicial officer in Bù Đăng District's Bom Bo Commune, said that his role allows him to interact with locals regularly.

His knowledge of laws and regulations is also advantageous when he advises people on social and health insurance policies.

Trường has successfully encouraged nearly 50 people to participate in voluntary social insurance.

Most of them opted for the base level of VNĐ297,000 ($12) in monthly premiums and planned to upgrade their plan when their income improves.

Trường said: "More and more people are participating in the insurance each year.

"This is a positive sign of the shift in the thinking of people in Bom Bo Commune on voluntary social insurance and savings for old age.

"I hope that these positive views will spread to others and that many more will participate in voluntary social insurance, enjoying the State's humane social welfare policies." — VNS