Vietnam Social Security Promptly Supporting People, Clearing Obstacles against Businesses

1:57:32 PM | 6/15/2020

The social security sector is making efforts to ensure full benefits for holders of social insurance, health insurance and unemployment insurance policies and facilitating businesses to develop in the context of Covid-19 epidemic outbreak.

Under the close direction and administration of the Government and the Prime Minister, with the consistent coordination of central and local authorities, the Vietnam Social Security (VSS) has urgently and drastically carried out many support solutions, particularly to support businesses. The social security sector has allowed suspension of social insurance payment to the retirement and survivorship fund for businesses affected by Covid-19; paid unemployment insurance benefits for workers unemployed by the epidemic; ensured medical examination and treatment for insurance policyholders; supported people, workers and enterprises in handling electronic medical declaration and social insurance and health insurance payment.

Expanding the scope of voluntary social insurance

As of May 31, 2020, the total number of people subject to compulsory social insurance was 14.404 million, equal to 89.8% of the plan (down 11,500 people from April 2020 and down 796,000 people from 2019). 600,600 people held voluntary social insurance policies, reaching 50% of the plan (an increase of 42,000 people from April 2020 and 26,000 people from 2019). Health insurance policies were held by 85.078 million people, equal to 96.6% of the plan (down 109,000 from April 2020 and 849,000 from 2019).

The number of holders of compulsory social insurance and health insurance policies declined because of objective causes. Due to the effect of the Covid-19 epidemic, many businesses had to narrow their production and business operations, workers had to stop working or quit their jobs. People’s income shrank due to the epidemic and some people could not afford mandatory social insurance, voluntary social insurance, health insurance and others.

On the contrary, the number of people buying voluntary social insurance increased as the VSS cooperated with the Vietnam Post Office for the first time to launch the “Universal Social Insurance” Month across the nation May 23, 2020. Two days later (May 23 and 24), 30,017 people bought voluntary social insurance and 4,734 more people bought household health insurance.

Prompt support for people, businesses to deal with hardships caused by Covid-19

The VSS has actively joined forces with ministries and branches to complete draft legal documents, direct enforcement of policies and laws on social insurance, health insurance and unemployment insurance; quickly issued over 25 documents guiding local social security agencies to closely coordinate with concerned agencies to timely support people and enterprises to deal with emerging difficulties and cope with Covid-19: Paying pensions and social insurance benefits in April and May in the same payment period for beneficiaries using registered ATM payment cards and receiving benefits at home; timely paying benefits to workers unemployed by the epidemic; facilitating insured patients to promptly receive medical treatment or transfer patients suspected of carrying coronavirus to other hospitals; immediately advancing money for medical facilities serving insured patients, particularly for facilities with Covid-19 patients and suspects, to buy antiseptics and sanitizers to prevent Covid-19; providing medicines for outpatients carrying chronic cases for longer treatment during the Covid-19 period; and guiding and supporting people to make electronic medical declarations.

The VSS quickly appraised requests and suspended payment to the pension and survivorship fund for enterprises affected by Covid-19 epidemic. As of May 31, 2020, as many as 53 local social security agencies received applications for temporary suspension of payment to the retirement and survivorship fund from enterprises. Accordingly, 1,171 enterprises with 107,327 employees were approved of this with a total estimated value of VND396 billion.

Promptly paying full social benefits

The social security sector has promptly settled and paid social insurance, health insurance and unemployment insurance benefits to policyholders, helping people overcome difficulties during the Covid-19 epidemic.

Currently, the social security sector is paying insurance benefits to more than 3.2 million people on a monthly basis. By June 3, 2020, the sector paid monthly social insurance benefits (for retirement, death, workplace accident - occupational disease) for 50,297 people; settlement one-time insurance benefits worth VND13,154.7 billion to 353,616 people; solved sickness benefits valued VND1,413.3 billion for 2,992,172 people, maternity benefits worth VND9,591.5 billion for 743,310 people, and health rehabilitation benefits of VND417.8 billion for 162,132 people. The sector paid unemployment insurance benefits of VND5,09 billion to 558,418 people (including new 298,833 people).

By June 4, 2020, the spending for health insurance benefits reached VND38,005.146 billion (excluding the spending on social insurance benefits for the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Public Security), equal to the estimated annual utilization rate of 38%.

Delivering public services, reforming administrative procedures

The Vietnam Social Security continued to deliver national public services, reform administrative procedures, applied information technology to facilitate citizens and businesses in transactions with social security agencies, especially during the social distancing period.

As of May 31, 2020, the Vietnam Social Security provided 18 out of 27 online public services of Level 3 and Level 4, with 12 services at Level 4. The social security provided and jointly verified nine public services on the National Public Service Portal, with three services delivered from May 12, 2020, to support people and businesses troubled by the Covid-19 pandemic. The three services include supporting businesses to temporarily halt social insurance payment to the retirement and survivorship fund; supporting employers to borrow money to pay laid-off workers; and supporting employees to postpone labor contracts or take unpaid leave. As a result, from May 16 to May 31, 2020, the social security sector received and processed 291 Covid-19 files from enterprises on the National Public Service Portal.

Carrying out guidance by the VSS, local social security agencies will continue to receive and return settled administrative procedures via electronic environment, at the single-window division at provincial and district levels amid Covid-19 outbreak. Social security agencies handled 47,591,872 records from January to May 31, 2020.

At the same time, the Customer Care System timely supported, consulted and responded satisfactorily to people, organizations and businesses about participation and acceptance of social insurance, health insurance and unemployment insurance in the first six months of 2020. As a result, the system received and answered 160,000 phone calls from people, organizations and businesses asking about five regimes and policies of social insurance, health insurance and unemployment insurance at three portals of the telephone directory, 19009068, in the first six months of 2020. Particularly, from March 12 to March 20, 2020, the system received nearly 22,000 calls from people, organizations and businesses (an average of more than 2,400 calls per day, an increase of 150% from normal days) about the Covid-19. They commonly asked questions: Social insurance and health insurance benefits for laid-off workers in the time of social distancing; the halted payment to the retirement and survivorship fund for persons affected by the epidemic; and the deployment of SMS notification to inform social insurance code for people to declare electronic medical records at the request of the Government.

Administrative reform, information technology application, customer care and support of the insurance industry in recent years have helped the social security sector to stimulate people and organizations to change transaction forms with social insurance agencies, from direct transactions to online public services. Especially, during the stage of Covid-19 epidemic prevention, these services provided very effective support for people and businesses to carry out procedures related to social insurance, health insurance and unemployment insurance regimes.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum