Vietnam Social Security: Efforts to Fulfil Tasks and Targets amid Complicated COVID-19 Pandemic

10:12:37 AM | 15/8/2020

Given the context of the complicated COVID-19 pandemic, the Vietnam Social Security (VSS) has obtained significant achievements by actively applying solutions, promptly following executive instructions of the Government and the Prime Minister, launching tasks and solutions to ensure interests of beneficiaries and tackling difficulties for local enterprises to operate effectively and ensure social security.

More participants in voluntary social insurance

By the end of July 2020, the total value of interest-bearing social insurance debts (from one month or more) was about VND20,682 billion (US$850 million), accounting for 5.1% of the total receivables. 1,519 companies with 130,794 workers were approved to delay the payment of VND475 billion of pension and death funds because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Participant development has been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Policyholders of social insurance totaled about 15,271 million, accounting for about 31% of the workforce, including 14,534 million holders of compulsory social insurance (down 655,000 compared to 2019, reaching 90.6% of the plan), 737,000 holders of voluntary social insurance (up 163,000 compared to 2019, reaching 61.4% of the plan), 12.725 million holders of unemployment insurance (accounting for about 25.8% of the workforce, reaching 88.5% of the plan), and 85.915 million policyholders of health insurance (reaching 97.6% of the plan, 88.8% of the population.)

Policyholders of compulsory social insurance, health insurance and unemployment insurance declined from the end of 2019 because of the pandemic impacts. With innovative and appropriate communication solutions, the number of people buying voluntary social insurance continued to increase. This is a bright spot in participant development of the social security in recent years.

Convenient insurance policy settlement

As of July 31, 2020, the social security handled 70,878 records concerning monthly pension and social insurance benefits and served 539,118 people getting one-time benefits (including 475,577 people quitting jobs and getting one-time social insurance benefits), 5,393,768 people taking sickness, maternity, convalescence and rehabilitation benefits, and 580,634 people taking unemployment insurance benefits (including 572,813 people getting unemployment insurance benefits and 7,821 people enjoying vocational training support); and settled payment for medical examination and treatment for 92,490 million insured inpatients and outpatients.

Insured patients are tested for COVID-19 in case of suspicion, using medical support funding against COVID-19 pandemic. Outpatients are provided with drugs for their chronic diseases and long-term treatment in the time of COVID-19 pandemic to ensure social distancing. VSS coordinated with post offices to pay April and May pensions and social insurance every two months instead of on a monthly basis and directed high-risk localities to pay pension and social insurance benefits of August and September 2020 in a similar manner to ensure safety for beneficiaries.

Consistent, diverse communication forms

VSS has effectively launched the media campaign called “The social security industry joins hands with the country to prevent and fight the COVID-19 pandemic". The social security sector has coordinated with news and press agencies to strongly communicate, promptly warn and prevent impersonation of social insurance agencies to solicit buying social insurance certificates during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has also cooperated with Vietnam Post Corporation to effectively launch two movements to engage people across the country to buy voluntary social insurance and household health insurance to increase policyholders of voluntary social insurance and household health insurance in recent years.

Extensive inspections

By July 2020, the social security conducted inspections and examinations into 3,465 units (specialized inspection of 1,478 units, general inspection into 1,796 units, and interagency inspection into 191 units) and discovered 3,651 workers subject to mandatory social insurance, unemployment insurance and health insurance but not given those benefits, worth VND31,534.2, and 11,563 workers given insufficient amount of VND53,806.6 million of those benefits. The amount of debt paid by employers was VND487,578 million (VND112,231.9 million was paid during the inspection period). VSS issued 108 decisions on sanctions to administrative violations, fining VND7,576.6 million (VND4,897.3 million was collected, or 64.6% of the total fine).

Accelerating administrative procedure reform, IT application

Administrative procedure reform has continued to be drastically and consistently carried out by the Vietnam Social Security in line with the Government's requirements. VSS has seriously and effectively reviewed and simplified administrative procedures within its jurisdiction to provide services on the National Public Service Portal according to the roadmap and objectives specified in the Prime Minister’s Decision 274/QD-TTg. It has provided 722 accounts to affiliated units and local social security agencies to receive and settle complaints and recommendations from organizations and individuals about administrative procedures on the National Public Service Portal; deployed technical solutions to connect, integrate and provide online public services for businesses and people on the National Public Service Portal. As of now, 13 public services have been provided on this portal. In addition, three more public services have been integrated and provided to support businesses and people troubled by the COVID-19 pandemic under the Government's Resolution 42/NQ-CP.

Tasks in the remaining time of 2020

VSS will focus on implementing some fundamentals tasks and solutions as follows:

First, effectively carrying out tasks as assigned in the Government’s Resolution 125/NQ-CP on the action program for implementation of Resolution 28-NQ/TW on social insurance policy reform; the Government’s Resolution 01/NQ-CP on major tasks and solutions to implement socioeconomic development plans and state budget estimates for 2020; and the Government’s Resolution 02/NQ-CP on solutions for better business environment and stronger national competitiveness in 2020.

Second, working closely with relevant ministries and agencies to complete policies and laws on social insurance, health insurance and unemployment insurance.

Third, effectively executing the Government’s Resolution 102/NQ-CP dated August 3, 2018,  on assignment of development targets for social insurance policyholders, the Prime Minister’s Directive 34/CT-TTg dated December 26, 2016, on strengthening solutions to development of social security beneficiaries; developing solutions to implement local health insurance coverage targets under the Prime Minister's Decision 1167/QD-TTg dated June 28, 2016.

Fourth, implementing tasks and solutions to support businesses and people troubled by the COVID-19 pandemic as directed by the Government; formulating and implementing management plans and scenarios (monthly, quarterly, and annual) to achieve VSS’s targets, tasks and plans in 2020; concentrating resources to successfully organize the 5th VSS Patriotism Emulation Congress in the 2020-2025 period.

Fifth, coordinating with relevant agencies, mass organizations, civil social agencies, and news and press agencies to upgrade communication contents and forms of policies and laws on social insurance and health insurance characteristically suitable for each group of beneficiaries and regions, with a focus placed on buyers of voluntary social insurance and household health insurance.

Sixth, regularly inspecting, supervising and urging provincial/municipal social security agencies to carry out working plans and estimate revenues and expenditures and develop policyholders of social insurance, unemployment insurance and health insurance in 2020; strengthening inspection, interagency inspection, specialized inspection, irregular inspection into enterprises bearing outstanding debts, having signs of abusing and profiteering social insurance, unemployment insurance and health insurance; promptly handling and proposing settlement of law violations on social insurance, unemployment insurance and health insurance.

Seventh, coordinating with the Post Office to closely manage beneficiaries, upgrade service and payment modes at public service agencies; promoting noncash payment as guided by the Government; strictly managing payment of short-term social insurance, one-off benefits and unemployment insurance benefits; fostering and actively controlling medical costs covered by health insurance agencies, ensuring correct implementation of fiscal estimates assigned by the Government in 2020.

Eighth, further reforming administrative procedures, effectively deploying C2B multimedia interaction system; expanding delivery of online public services of Level 3 and Level 4, integrating interconnection to provide public services within the VSS jurisdiction on the National Public Service Portal; promoting electronic transactions; managing and using electronic documents across social security agencies.

Ninth, completing the national database on insurance according to the Prime Minister’s Decision 714/QD-TTg dated May 22, 2015; completing infrastructure, centralized database system and professional software; updating and completing household data, issuing social insurance codes to policyholders; perfecting rules on software management and use; enhancing training to improve management skills, use professional software for employees of the social security sector.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum