And for all citizens to have this right guaranteed, Clause 2, Article 59 of the Constitution states: “The State creates equal opportunities for citizens to enjoy social welfare, develops a social security system, has policies to help the elderly, the disabled, the poor and other disadvantaged people”.

Connecting these two provisions in the 2013 Constitution, it can be affirmed that these are the regulations that demonstrate a progressive development of citizens' rights on social security in general and social insurance in particular, to create equality of opportunities for participation and enjoyment of all members of society.

People benefit from humanistic decisions

Each patient when going to the hospital for medical examination and treatment worries about the cost of treatment and the economic burden. Thanks to health insurance, people can reduce that worry. Health insurance is also a lifesaver, providing life opportunities for patients, especially those with low incomes when suffering from serious illnesses and the health insurance card is the "lifeline" for the patient.

Còn khó khăn, nhưng Nhà nước Việt Nam không ngừng thúc đẩy quyền được bảo đảm an sinh

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“If I did not have a health insurance card, I would have had to pay extra treatment fees and I would not have lived to this day,” said Mr. Nguyen Trong Tuyen, patient of the Dialysis Department of the Ba Ria Hospital in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province.

Lying alone on a hospital bed at the Dialysis Department (Ba Ria Hospital), surrounded by dialysis lines, Mr. Nguyen Trong Tuyen said: “My wife died 15 years ago and my only son has been working far away from home. Life is difficult for me”. Being seriously ill, Tuyen still has to take care of his elderly parents. Therefore, the health insurance card is like an "amulet", helping him to reduce many medical expenses.

Tuyen has to go to the hospital for dialysis 3 times a week. “I only have to worry about travel expenses, buy supplements to improve my health, totaling about 2 million VND a month. Without the health insurance card, and having to pay more for treatment, I would definitely not be able to live to this day,” said Tuyen.

Ms. Ngo Thi Ngoc (from Nghia Thanh commune, Chau Duc district, Ba Ria-Vung Tau province) is taking care of her husband - Mr. Huynh Ngoc Anh, 47, who suffers from myocardial infarction at the Department of Cardiology (Ba Ria Hospital). She said: “Without health insurance, my family would have been unable to cover treatment expenses”.

Showing us the paper listing the amounts covered by health insurance, Ngoc said: My husband was hospitalized due to a heart attack on November 28. He was in a state of apnea, so the doctor ordered an urgent operation. He was prescribed a stent for coronary artery angioplasty. The cost for each stent placement is up to 40 million VND, but this fee is covered by the health insurance, up to 80%, to 36 million VND (for the first stent). "With such expenses, if there is no health insurance, our salary cannot bear the burden", Ngoc said.

November 1, 2020 is the most memorable day in the life of Mr. Tran Viet Quyen (from Hung Xuan 1 village, Xuan Giao commune, Bao Thang district, Lao Cai province). This is the day that he officially received a monthly pension and was granted a free lifetime health insurance card thanks to voluntary social insurance.

Quyen was a former security guard for the High School No. 2 in Bao Thang district, Lao Cai province. As of October 2019, he participated in compulsory social insurance at the school for 12 years and 1 month. Due to his high age, he quit his job as a security guard at the school.

After leaving his job, Quyet wanted to be paid one-time social insurance. However, after a communication officer of the Bao Thang district social insurance agency analyzed the superiority of the voluntary social insurance policy, Quyen decided to participate in the voluntary social insurance program.

Còn khó khăn, nhưng Nhà nước Việt Nam không ngừng thúc đẩy quyền được bảo đảm an sinh

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According to the communication officer, in the case of Mr. Quyen, who reached the retirement age but his payment of social insurance was less than 20 years, he could continue to pay voluntary social insurance to enjoy pension and be granted a free retirement health insurance card with 95% health care benefits. During the time he participates in voluntary social insurance, he will be supported 10% of the payment rate by the State in the first 10 years. Quyen decided to participate in voluntary social insurance and chose the one-time payment of social insurance for the missing years (7 year 11 months) with the amount of: 96,460,355 VND for the full 20 years of social insurance payment to be eligible for pension entitlement. On November 1, 2020, Mr. Tran Viet Quyen officially received a monthly pension and was granted a free retirement health insurance card for life.

Holding a pension book and a health insurance card in his hands, Quyet was very happy. He said: “Enjoying a monthly pension, I feel very reassured because I can cover the costs of life by myself. I am not dependent on or become a burden for families and children. I also have a health insurance card to support payment for medical examination and treatment.”

Over the past years, millions of workers who lost their jobs have received partial income support from the Unemployment Insurance Fund to help stabilize their lives, as well as have been introduced to new jobs or vocationally trained to soon return to the labor market. In particular, in 2020, in the context of the labor market with many fluctuations due to the effects of natural disasters, epidemics, unemployment insurance have really brought into play its role and effectiveness. As of December 31 this year, it is estimated that the number of unemployed people who enjoy unemployment benefits is about 1.03 million people.

The preeminence of the regime and the right development path of Vietnam

Emphasizing the increasingly important role of Vietnam Social Security in the social security system and maintaining the socialist orientation, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam emphasized that, in the process of development, many countries are under increasing pressure of economic growth so they do not pay attention to environmental and social issues, especially social security, healthcare, education and culture network. By the time of realizing these problems, it take these countries decades to solve environmental pollution, and generations to overcome social inadequacies. However, from the beginning, the guidelines and policies of the Party and State have paid more attention to and given development achievements to the people, especially the vulnerable people. Therefore, although the average income per capita in terms of purchasing power of Vietnam is only about 100, the indexes related to education, culture, society... is between 70th and 80th, especially in 2020, our sustainability index is 49th.

Còn khó khăn, nhưng Nhà nước Việt Nam không ngừng thúc đẩy quyền được bảo đảm an sinh

People benefit a lot when participating in social insurance policy

That shows the preeminence of the regime and the correct path of development of Vietnam, similar to 17 groups of criteria and 169 specific criteria of the Sustainable Development Agenda of the United Nations, which express the common aspirations of humanity such as: Building an environment of peace, cooperation, economic development, taking care of everyone, especially the vulnerable, protecting nature, the environment...

The voluntary social insurance policy has been implemented since 2008 to create opportunities for workers in the informal sector to participate in social insurance. In fact, after 10 years of implementation, the number of people participating in voluntary social insurance has not yet grown commensurate with its potential. However, on May 23, 2018, after the 7th Conference of the 12th Central Executive Committee issued Resolution No. 28-NQ/TW on reform of social insurance policy together with the implementation of the Government's Resolution No. 102/NQ-TW dated August 3, 2018 on assigning development targets for social insurance participants to the People's Committees of provinces and cities; considering it as the socio-economic development target of the locality, the development of voluntary social insurance has made a clear breakthrough. In 2018, the whole country had more than 277,000 people participating in voluntary social insurance, an increase of nearly 53,000 people, corresponding to an increase of 23.6% compared to 2017. In 2019, the number had increased to nearly 574,000, an increase of nearly 297,000 people, corresponding to an increase of 107.1% compared to 2018, accounting for 1.17% of the labor force in working age. In particular, the number of new voluntary social insurance participants in 2019 was equal to the total number of people participating in voluntary social insurance in over 11 previous years.

To obtain that result, the Vietnam Social Security tried to implement many solutions with the determination to bring Resolution No. 28 to life. The amendment of the voluntary social insurance policy has created much more favorable condition for the participants. To participate in the voluntary social insurance policy, you only need to be a Vietnamese citizen from 15 years of age and there is no limit in age ceiling. The payment methods are diverse and flexible, extending the closing time. Regulation on income as a basis for paying voluntary social insurance is also more appropriate. From January 1, 2018, voluntary social insurance participants are also supported by the State with a certain percentage of the monthly social insurance premium according to the poverty standard of rural areas.

Regarding the implementation of the voluntary social insurance policy, over the past time, the Vietnam Social Security has strengthened the coordination with relevant agencies; made efforts to implement many synchronous solutions such as: proposing and completing policies to suit the practical situation; reforming administrative procedures and applying information technology to create favorable conditions for policy participants and beneficiaries; renovating and strengthening communication, especially in the social network environment, encouraging each official, public servant, employee in the entire social insurance sector to be a communicator to introduce and mobilize people to participate in voluntary social insurance.

In particular, May has been selected as the Month of Campaign for the implementation of universal social insurance according to Decision No. 1676/QÐ-TTg dated 21/11/2019 of the Prime Minister. This is a good opportunity for the Vietnam Social Security and related agencies to focus on propaganda in the peak month. The launching ceremony of the month of campaigning for the implementation of universal social insurance with the theme "Social insurance policy - the fulcrum for the welfare of workers and the people" and the launching ceremony in response to the Vietnam Health Insurance Day - Propaganda and advocacy people participating in voluntary social insurance and household health insurance, organized by the Vietnam Social Security and the Vietnam Post Corporation in May and July 2020 directly mobilized nearly 134,000 people, including nearly 63,000 people participate in voluntary social insurance, more than 71,000 people participate in household health insurance.

The above figures affirm the trust of laborers and the people in the preeminent social security policy of the Party and State.

Thuy Nguyen