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Open Access Research article

Examining the types and payments of the disabilities of the insurants in the national farmers' health insurance program in Taiwan

Jiun-Hao Wang1 and Hung-Hao Chang2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Bio-industry Communication and Development, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

2 Department of Agricultural Economics, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:646  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-646

Published: 26 October 2010



In contrast to the considerable body of literature concerning the disabilities of the general population, little information exists pertaining to the disabilities of the farm population. Focusing on the disability issue to the insurants in the Farmers' Health Insurance (FHI) program in Taiwan, this paper examines the associations among socio-demographic characteristics, insured factors, and the introduction of the national health insurance program, as well as the types and payments of disabilities among the insurants.


A unique dataset containing 1,594,439 insurants in 2008 was used in this research. A logistic regression model was estimated for the likelihood of received disability payments. By focusing on the recipients, a disability payment and a disability type equation were estimated using the ordinary least squares method and a multinomial logistic model, respectively, to investigate the effects of the exogenous factors on their received payments and the likelihood of having different types of disabilities.


Age and different job categories are significantly associated with the likelihood of receiving disability payments. Compared to those under age 45, the likelihood is higher among recipients aged 85 and above (the odds ratio is 8.04). Compared to hired workers, the odds ratios for self-employed and spouses of farm operators who were not members of farmers' associations are 0.97 and 0.85, respectively. In addition, older insurants are more likely to have eye problems; few differences in disability types are related to insured job categories.


Results indicate that older farmers are more likely to receive disability payments, but the likelihood is not much different among insurants of various job categories. Among all of the selected types of disability, a highest likelihood is found for eye disability. In addition, the introduction of the national health insurance program decreases the likelihood of receiving disability payments. The experience in Taiwan can be valuable for other countries that are in an initial stage to implement a universal health insurance program.