MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Vietnam’s Ministry of Health and Social Insurance to Provide Free Health Insurance to Poor People

The Ministry of Health of Vietnam and Vietnam Social Insurance, a government-funded organization that offers insurance to workers, reportedly will issue health insurance cards free of charge to families living close to or below the poverty line. Vietnam’s Prime Minister, Mr Nguyen Tan Dung, instructed the ministry to do so as few poor people have purchased the government-subsidized health insurance for which the government reportedly has allocated VND 2.38 trillion (USD 114 million) this year. The Prime Minister has asked provincial and municipal authorities to verify that local budget and medical funds support health insurance for 30 percent of people living close to the poverty line. The government reportedly has plans to increase the portion of insurance premiums covered by the government from 50 to 70 percent for poor people, while minorities and people living in remote regions will receive the health insurance at no charge. Further details on the effort are not available.

By Charlotte Newman, Research Associate

Sources and Additional Resources:

Asia Insurance Review: “Vietnam: Government Provides Health Insurance Support for the Poor,” http://www.asiainsurancereview.com/News/ViewNewsLetterArticle.aspx?id=26285&Type=eDaily

MicroCapital.org story, October 2, 2012, “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Asian Development Bank Invests $40m in Vietnam’s Microfinance Sector,” http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-asian-development-bank-invests-40m-in-vietnams-microfinance-sector/

MicroCapital.org story, April 2, 2012, “MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Small-Scale Solar Power Projects, Health Worker Preferences for Insurance Payment Mechanisms, Effects of Microinsurance on Poor People in Vietnam,” http://www.microcapital.org/microfinance-publication-round-up-small-scale-solar-power-projects-health-worker-preferences-for-insurance-payment-mechanisms-effects-of-microinsurance-on-poor-people-in-vietnam/

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