The current Farmer Health Insurance Program (FHI) offers 3 allowances, namely, disability. However, when farmers suffer occupational injuries, the program does not offer coverage nor protection against such incidents. Therefore, to ensure the occupational safety of the farmers and provide economic compensation against occupational injuries so that injured farmers and their family may receive more complete coverage, the Council of Agriculture (COA) implemented the Farmer Occupational Injury Insurance Program (FOII) on November 1, 2018. The said insurance scheme provides the following 4 benefits: injury benefits, medical care allowances, disability benefits, and funeral grants; all of which are paid in cash to insured farmers who are unable to work due to accidental injuries incurred while engaging in agricultural tasks. This insurance scheme cannot be used with Farmer Health Insurance at the same time. Compared to the FHI, 2 new benefits have been added to the FOII scheme, namely injury benefits and medical care allowances. Moreover, there is a 50% and 100% increment to disability benefits and funeral grants, respectively.
The monthly insurance amount of FOII is NTD 10,200 which is the same as FHI. At the initial stage of the trial period, in order to encourage farmers’ participation, the premium rate was set at 0.24% which comes down to only NTD 25 per month. Since 60% of the premium is paid by the insured person with the remaining 40% being paid by the government, insured farmers only need to pay NTD 15 per month.
When the trial implementation was launched on November 1, 2018, it targeted insured farmers of the FHI program who were actually engaged in agricultural work. From August 7, 2019, the coverage has been expanded to include individuals who are classified as category 3 insured persons as specified in Article 10 of the National Health Insurance Act, and who meet the requirements set forth in the Regulations Governing the Recognition and Qualification Review for Participating in the National Health Insurance by Individuals Actually Engaged in Agricultural Activities. The aforementioned also include retirees who have already received the old-age benefits from other social insurance programs, and foreign spouses (including people of mainland China with no household registration) of Taiwanese nationals. The individuals described above can all apply to join the FOII voluntarily through farmers associations.
Up to the end of November 2020, the total number of farmers that joined the FOII program has reached 279,000, with an average insured rate of 26.5%. In the future, the COA will accumulate experience and successful cases through trial implementation. It will also gather feedbacks from private, public, and academic sectors to serve as basis for progressive adjustments in order to perfect the integral Farmer Occupational Injury Insurance and prevention system.