Does universal health insurance make health care unaffordable? Lessons from Taiwan

Jui Fen Rachel Lu*, William C. Hsiao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

485 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper examines the performance of Taiwan's National Health Insurance (NHI), a universal health insurance program, implemented in 1995, that covers comprehensive services. The authors address two key questions: Did the NHI cause Taiwanese health spending to escalate to an "unaffordable" level? What are the benefits of the NHI? They find that Taiwan's single-payer NHI system enabled Taiwan to manage health spending inflation and that the resulting savings largely offset the incremental cost of covering the previously uninsured. Under the NHI, the Taiwanese have more equal access to health care, greater financial risk protection, and equity in health care financing. The NHI consistently receives a 70 percent public satisfaction rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-88
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Affairs
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Does universal health insurance make health care unaffordable? Lessons from Taiwan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this