Introducing social insurance for long-term care in Taiwan: Key issues

Nadash P, Shih Y.-C. Introducing social insurance for long-term care in Taiwan: Key issues

Taiwan will shortly complete its comprehensive social safety net, which includes national health insurance, retirement security, and unemployment insurance, by introducing long-term care (LTC) insurance – putting it ahead of the many countries that rely on a patchwork of policies to address the need for LTC. The program, to be implemented in 3 to 5 years, will cover all citizens on a primarily social insurance basis. The range of LTC policy options considered is discussed, particularly how to structure the program, how to finance and regulate it, and how to develop its inadequate LTC infrastructure and workforce. Particularly thorny issues include the choice of social insurance, the feasibility of cash benefits, and how to address Taiwan’s heavy reliance on foreign workers. Taiwan’s increasingly democratic character, along with high levels of public support for the program, creates significant pressure on politicians to deliver on their promises to implement LTC reform.

Key Practitioner Message: •Emphasizes the importance of policy learning from other environments; •Highlights the need for a strong regulatory and provider infrastructure for delivering long-term care services; •Emphasizes the need for training, support, and appropriate regulation of the long-term care workforce.

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