The legislative purpose of Article 39 of the National Health Insurance Act, which concerns the items not covered by national health insurance, is to clearly define the limits of coverage. Accordingly, except for those uncovered items which are listed in Subparagraphs 1-11 of the same Article, the relevant authority, when it implements Subparagraph 12, which provides: “other treatments and drugs promulgated by the relevant authority not to be covered,” should consider the legislative purposes of similar Subparagraphs of the same Article to ex ante indicate those medical services and drugs which are not covered. The relevant authority cannot avoid application of this Subparagraph and promulgate other exception rules to list uncovered items. If it is deemed that the provisions of Article 39, Subparagraph 12, are not sufficient to prevent the abuse of medical resources or to accommodate the developments in medical or pharmaceutical technology, power-conferring clauses with concreteness and clarity may be added to the enabling statute, which should be both responsive to practical needs and consistent with the doctrine of legal reservation.
Article 31 of the same act provides that: “In case of illness, injury, or maternity of the beneficiary, the contracted medical care institutions shall provide ambulatory or hospital care pursuant to the Medical Benefit Regulations of this Insurance. Physicians may [shall?] deliver prescriptions to the beneficiary to be dispensed by the pharmacy.” “The Medical Benefit Regulations mentioned in the preceding paragraph shall be drafted by the relevant authority and submitted to the Executive Yuan for approval before promulgation.” “The delivery of medication, referred to in Paragraph 1, shall be made in accordance with Article 102 of the Pharmaceutical Act.” The content of this article is too broad to be consistent with the principle of clarity of law. Article 31, Paragraph 1, of the Medical Benefit Regulations of the National Health Insurance promulgated by the Department of Health, Executive Yuan, on February 24, 1995, provides that: “To perform medical treatments involving high technology, contracted hospitals should ex ante obtain approval from the insurer.” The following paragraph provides that: “the high technology items and reviewing process of the preceding paragraph shall be determined by the insurer.” Paragraph 1 enables the relevant authority to unilaterally change the fundamental rights or obligations concerning the insurance relations (Article 20 of the Regulations as amended December 29, 2000, has the same stipulation). Paragraph 2, without any legal provision authorizing a chain of delegation, assigns the insurer the power to define the items concerning high technology and to determine their review procedure. These practices are beyond the scope of statutory delegation. Furthermore, Article 41, Subparagraph 3, which provides: “other treatments and drugs promulgated by the relevant authority not to be covered,” not only does not make explicit the standard and what factors should be considered to determine which items should not be covered in individual cases, but also universally requires ex ante approval without taking account of emergency treatments. This is contrary to the principle protecting the insured’s rights and interests. Article 50, Paragraph 1, provides that: “The contracted medical care institutions shall declare to the insurer the points of the medical services rendered and expense of drugs, based on the Fee Schedule for Medical Services and the Reference List for Drugs.” Article 51, Paragraph 1, provides that: “The Fee Schedule for Medical Services and Reference List for Drugs shall be established jointly by the insurer and the contracted medical care institutions and reported to the relevant authority for approval.” Although the purpose of the provisions is to authorize the relevant authority, for the sake of rationally allocating medical resources, to set up reasonable standards to review costs of medical treatments and drugs, these provisions should not be interpreted as the basis for items excluded from insurance coverage. Those special medical treatments and drugs, such as so-called high-risk medical services, medical services easily abused or overused by medical staff, high-technology items, medical services for special causes, expensive drugs or drugs with serious side effects, have already been regulated by laws (See the Medical Service Law, Pharmaceutical Act, etc. ). The relevant authority knows that it would not be difficult to directly write into law or indirectly delegate with concreteness and clarity to publish ex ante the scopes and items for special cases in national health insurance, such as reimbursement standards for medical expenses, items of pharmaceutical service, and the basis for pricing drugs. The statutory regulations, which do not have clear and concrete delegation based on the enabling law, having excluded high technology and high risk medical services from insurance coverage, therefore, run counter to law. Moreover, subordinate agencies, without clear delegation, promulgate administrative rules which have validity only within administrative organizations, such as the Rules for the ex ante Review of Medical Treatment Items and Drugs for Special Causes in the National Health Insurance (as amended and promulgated on January 11, 1997, by the Bureau of National Health Insurance) and the Rules for the Review of Procedures and High Technology Medical Items in the National Health Insurance (promulgated on November 13, 1996, by the Bureau of National Health Insurance), that take the place of statutory regulations. This definitely is in violation of the doctrine of legal reservation. Those laws and administrative rules which are not consistent with this Interpretation should be reviewed and corrected within two years after the promulgation of this Interpretation. Moreover, those omissions which were pointed out in this Council’s Interpretation No. 472 more than two years ago should also have been taken into account in this correction since they have not yet been properly handled.