In Beijing, China, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security recently announced that the urban basic health insurance will provide coverage to around eight million Chinese for 2011.
The said insurance program will increase the number of covered urban residents to 90% or 440 million. This number was only 432 million back in 2010. This was announced by the ministry during a press conference that was held on Wednesday in Beijing. This health insurance program will include the basic health insurance for those who are residing in urban areas while for those in the rural areas, they will be provided with a “Rural Cooperative” health insurance program.
The health minister of China Chen Zhu says that an increase of 20,000 Yuan will be provided for the reimbursement cap that is assigned for farmers. The previous amount of 30,000 Yuan will now be 50,000 Yuan or 7,600 USD. This amount is ten times of the annual average income of the said farmers. With this increase, it is expected that 70% of the inpatient expenses for farmers will now be reimbursed.
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Additional coverage that is provided with this pilot project includes children who are suffering from heart diseases that are congenital as well as leukemia. In addition to that, there will be financial assistance that will be provided for those who are suffering from chronic diseases throughout the country. As of the moment, the ministry is considering an expansion of this coverage by including those who suffer from cervical cancer, breast cancer and uremia.
The Rural Cooperative medical program was started in 2003, wherein all members will pay 10 Yuan annually, and partial reimbursements will be given to them when they are hospitalized. In 2010, 120 Yuan was offered by the government for the members, and this will be increased to 200 Yuan this year. The budget for health care will also be increased to 5.35% this year from the current 4.57%.