Pharmaceutical News
NHI policymakers staving off premiums hike, mull reducing dispensing of instruction drugs

The National Health Insurance Committee (NHIC) on April 26 held its monthly meeting to discuss preliminary allocation of the 2024 National Health Insurance (NHI) global budget and measures to improve NHI finances. NHIC Executive Secretary Chou Shu-wan said that the growth parameters of the 2024 global budget are expected to fall between 4 percent and 1.053 percent, with the NHI safety reserve anticipated to reside at a level equivalent to between 1.01 to 1.41 months of expenditure. The projected outcome indicates that an increase of the NHI premium rates in 2024 may be avoided.

Executive Secretary Chou, however, said that as the estimates for the cost of provision of medical services will not be calculated on an annual basis, but rather based on the average in the previous four years, the amount is expected to be lower compared to previous years. Furthermore, whether the NHI premium rates will be raised will be dependent on the state of NHI finances at the end of 2023, with the proposed changes to the rates to be reviewed by the NHIC, the Ministry of Health and Welfare before final approval by the Cabinet.

Reining in drug expenditure was among the topics discussed in the NHIC meeting, to which NHIA Deputy Director General Tsai Shu-ling said that the NHIA will reexamine the dispensing of instruction drugs to determine whether they are medically necessary. The NHIA will also reassess the dispensing of drugs that are classified as both instruction drugs that are also prescription drugs, to identify where savings could be made from reduced use of indication drugs.

[2023-4-26/United Daily News]