Regulator: Expanded critical illness insurance program running smoothly

Government plans to promote the program further, supplemented with commercial insurance

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

China’s critical illness insurance system was launched last year, and the government plans to promote it further, according to the country’s insurance regulator.
“Increasing numbers of people in China are benefiting from the policy,” said Huang Hong, vice-president of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC). “It is an innovative approach to healthcare reform, which is a difficult task facing many countries worldwide.”
Basic medical insurance in China has a low level of protection, and critical illnesses can leave a family financially distressed due to high treatment costs.
Since last year, the government ordered that a small portion of the basic medical insurance fund is used to purchase commercial insurance to supplement protection.
From January to September of this year, the average critical illness insurance payout was RMB7,138 ($1,060) per patient, with the highest payout costing around RMB1.12 million (US$166,000), Huang said.
“It effectively helped poor people with critical illnesses to receive proper medical treatment,” he added.
Presently, 16 insurance companies operate 605 insurance projects, reaching 920 million individuals in 31 provinces across China.
A total of 436,700 faulty claims amounting to RMB2.27 billion (US$336.5 million) were rejected last year, helping arrest the rising growth of medical expenses, as well as preventing excessive and unnecessary medical treatments.
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