China enhances child healthcare coverage

New initiatives expand access and simplify processes

China enhances child healthcare coverage

Insurance News

By Roxanne Libatique

China is advancing its efforts to improve basic medical insurance for children by refining the registration process and intensifying outreach initiatives.

According to a ChinaDaily  report, the development was outlined in a guideline released by the National Healthcare Security Administration, aiming to facilitate easier access to healthcare benefits for the younger population.

China's campaign to insure children

According to the guideline, there's a strategic goal to have over 80% of newborns enrolled in the national basic medical insurance scheme within their first year by the end of the forthcoming year. The plan also envisions an increase in the insurance coverage rate for children by late 2025.

To meet these targets, the administration advocates for the involvement of nursery care centres, local communities, and workplaces in spreading the word to parents about the necessity and procedures for enrolling their children in health insurance plans.

The guideline specified that ideally, newborns should be insured within a 90-day window post-birth, with a guarantee that any healthcare costs incurred during this timeframe will be covered.

“Local governments should integrate processing of registrations and other affairs related to newborns and step up information sharing between healthcare security and health authorities,” the document said, as reported by ChinaDaily.

Assessing the coverage rates of insured children and identifying the reasons behind the uninsured status of certain school-aged children are crucial steps recommended to ensure widespread coverage.

China's national healthcare program

China's healthcare insurance scheme currently covers approximately 256 million children. Yet, challenges such as convoluted enrolment steps, insufficient parental awareness, and residential limitations persist.

Highlighting a personal narrative, Ma Li from Wuxi, Jiangsu province, recounted her experience with the digital enrolment process for her infant daughters. Despite the benefits, Ma encountered difficulties in receiving reimbursements, pointing out operational inefficiencies at the community hospital designated for insurance matters.

“It was not until my baby had symptoms of neonatal jaundice and infection and needed to check into the hospital that I seriously got down to look up information about medical insurance for infants,” she told ChinaDaily. “Eventually, the course of treatment for my daughter cost around 3,000 yuan ($417). Thanks to the insurance policy, more than half of the medical fee can be reimbursed.”

In support of increased insurance uptake, Cai Fucheng, a paediatric specialist at Wuhan Union Hospital, shared insights on the effectiveness of integrating insurance promotion within prenatal and postnatal care routines, resulting in a notable coverage rate of over 95% for newborns at the institution.

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