By: L.N. Reklai

July 3, 2017 (Koror, Palau) Ninety-five percent (95%) of the total population of Palau (17,661 latest census) are insured under the national medical insurance according to Minister Elbuchel Sadang, Minister of Finance and member of Palau HealthCare Fund Governing Board.

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95% or 16,704 people have National Health Insurance (NHI) and 92% or 16,193 also have Medical Savings Accounts (MSA).

This means that 95% of Palauan population have medical insurance that covers 80% of their healthcare cost and 92% have medical savings accounts which can be used to cover medicine and medical services provided by private medical providers.

The remaining number that are not insured are those that are below 60 years of age and are not disabled and are not contributing to the national health insurance plan.

Palau National Government still appropriates funds to cover emergency cases involving these uninsured individuals.  This fund requires patients to agree to refund the cost of their medical treatment upon being released from treatment.

Palau National Health Insurance requires employer and employee to contribute 5% (2.5 from employer and 2.5 from employee) to the insurance plan.  The plan provides wide coverage with few restrictions.  It also provides for off-island treatment upon recommendations of Medical Referral Committee.

The insurance covers all employees (Palauans and foreign workers) from both public and private sectors as well as retirees.  [/restrict]