Increasing Health Insurance for Students amid Covid-19 Pandemic

8:46:22 AM | 8/25/2021

In the face of the complicated development of the COVID-19 pandemic, to effectively ensure all students have health insurance policies, the Vietnam Social Security (VSS) recently issued Document 2396/BHXH-TST and 2392/BHXH-TT to social security agencies of centrally governed provinces and cities, directing the focused implementation of health insurance for students in the school year 2021-2022.

Enhancing health insurance development for students

Accordingly, the Vietnam Social Security required social security agencies to actively implement the following contents: Advising Chairpersons of Province-level and District-level People's Committees to direct implementation of health insurance for students in the 2021-2022 school year; mobilizing legal resources to provide financial support in the form of insurance premiums for students, particularly students of recognized poor families and ethnic minorities; and coordinating with the Department of Education and Training on a quarterly basis to review, assess and guide implementation of health insurance for students in the 2021-2022 school year. Specifically, schools will be assigned to complete student health insurance; inform and mobilize students to buy health insurance according to the Law on Health Insurance, and guide students to install and use VssID application for digital social insurance. In addition, social security agencies should actively coordinate with schools to guide the preparation and sending of health insurance policyholder lists on the electronic environment; assign employees to promptly review and approve first-time health insurance policies for students and extend the validity of existing health insurance cards. VSS requires social security agencies to quickly review, deduct and transfer funds for primary health care to schools. In addition, they must evaluate and reward schools and students with excellent achievements in health insurance for students in the 2021-2022 school year.

Flexible, suitable communications

The Vietnam Social Security also required social security agencies to actively work with relevant agencies, associations, mass organizations, news agencies and press to provide more information about health insurance policies for students in the school year 2021-2022: Informing significance, humanity and community sharing of health insurance in general and for students in particular; communicating on lawful health insurance where being insured is the responsibility of each student, the health insurance support fund for primary care for students, and the health insurance payment fund that pays health benefits for policyholders exposed to the COVID-19 pandemic. Insurance premiums for students are covered 30% by the State Budget and the rest by local budget (if any); informing the meaning and utility of the VssID application, especially features that allow policyholders (including students) to use the image of the health insurance card on the application for medical examination instead of the paper card.

Given the complicated COVID-19 pandemic development, the Vietnam Social Security directed social security agencies to coordinate with schools to disseminate and inform student health insurance in flexible and appropriate forms to support pandemic prevention and control, specifically direct communications (physical meetings or conferences), indirect communications (messages sent to mobile phones, via VssID application, interactions on social networks like Zalo and Facebook, online conferences), visual communications (panels, posters, banners, slogans and standees), and livestreams.

In addition, the Vietnam Social Security directed social security media and press agencies to strengthen communications on student insurance on their information channels; increase online news, articles, reportages, videos and infographics about student insurance on websites, magazines and fanpages; and developed and distributed appropriate communication products and coordinated with news agencies and press to actively disseminate health insurance policies for students.

In the new school year 2021-2022, as the COVID-19 pandemic may still be complicated, to successfully realize the goal that 100% of students are insured, apart from the resolution and effort of the Vietnamese social security industry, it is necessary to have strong participation and responsibility of the Party, local authorities and related agencies, especially schools.

Huong Thom (Vietnam Business Forum)