|Insured patients register for examination at a hospital in HCM City. — VNS Photo Gia Lộc|
HCM CITY — Health insurance coverage in HCM City climbed to 83 per cent last year, exceeding the Government’s target of 80.7 per cent, according to city-based Việt Nam Social Security.
Phan Văn Mến, head of the agency, said 6.87 million people in the city had bought health insurance cards last year, a 12 per cent increase from 2016.
Until last year, the card had to be bought every year, but this year it has been made a one-time issuance.
Nguyễn Thị Thu, Mến’s deputy, said this was possible due to good communication with regard to encouraging people to buy health insurance and the benefits of the insurance.
The Government’s plan to hike hospital fees has caused more and more people to buy the insurance, she said.
With premiums and the red tape that prevented people from buying family insurance policies reduced, nearly 1.6 million people had bought them as of last year.
The total premiums collected last year were worth VNĐ9.032 trillion (US$396 million) while the total claims settled were worth VNĐ9.003 trillion ($394 million), meaning there was a surplus of VNĐ28.8 billion, the lowest ever, Mến said.
It had been VNĐ821 billion in 2016 and VNĐ1.141 trillion in 2015.
The new policy allowing people in provinces to go to district-level hospitals as well as private hospitals in other cities and provinces that came into effect in 2016 saw an increase in the number of patients going to HCM City by 73 per cent to more than 3.4 million last year, Mến said.
The average cost of treatment increased to VNĐ2.3 million. Some patients abused their health insurance by getting checks done at several different hospitals, increasing the cost for the fund, he said.
To safeguard its financial health and insured patients’ benefits, the Việt Nam Social Security will this year work closely with hospitals and the city Department of Health to eliminate unreasonable costs flagged by an electronic assessment system. — VNS