As many as 64.2 million people nationwide were covered by social and health insurance in 2014, up 3.7 percent over a year ago, reported the Vietnam Social Security (VSS) during a press conference on December 26.

Insurance premium revenue also rose, estimated to reach 193.8 trillion VND (9.1 billion USD), a rise of 17.8 percent year on year, equivalent to 100.25 percent of the plan set by the Government, according to the VSS.

However, the VSS managers pointed out that in spite of an increase in the participant number, the figures remained low. Social insurance cover accounted for 20 percent of the workforce while health insurance reached only 71 percent of the population.

Many employers have yet strictly observed the Social Insurance Law, evading paying premium for their employees. Localities were unwilling to pay premiums on time.

As of November 31, the amount of unpaid premiums hit 11.114 billion VND (522.3 million USD), accounting for 6.24 percent of the sum required to be collected, up 455.3 billion VND or 4.3 percent year on year, revealed the VSS.

The company declared that in 2015, the sector will work harder to raise the number of people covered by social and health insurance to 67.85 million and collect 202.94 trillion VND (9.53 billion USD) in premiums.

The sector will coordinate closely with other ministries, the Vietnam Fatherland Front, and social-politic organisations to better monitor social and health insurance policies in localities, while stepping up administrative reform to cut premium payment duration to 49.5 hours per year by the end of 2015.-VNA