State Council promotes unified basic health insurance system

The State Council on Jan 12 issued a guideline on the integration of basic medical insurance for urban employees and the new rural cooperative medical scheme, which are aimed at creating a unified basic health insurance system.

The government encourages multi-channel financing - individual contributions combined with governmental subsidies; other social economic organizations are also encouraged to offer support. A plan will be set up so that individual contributions are determined by the disposable personable income of urban and rural residence. While governmental subsidies being increased, individual contributions should also go up.

The medical insurance coverage and payment standard will be gradually unified to ensure equal medical treatments and healthcare for those who are insured.

Urban and rural residents' medical insurance funds will be mainly used to pay the medical expenses of outpatient service and hospitalization.

According to the guideline, the medicine catalogue and medical service item catalogue covered by insurance will also be unified.

The basic medical insurance system should implement the mechanism unified by the state, including funds, finance and accounting.

Qualified commercial insurance institutions can participate in the handling of basic medical insurance by way of government buying services. This should be carried out under supervision to ensure the security of funds.

The guideline requires that governments at provincial and municipal level make specific plans for the integration before the end of June 2016. Medical reform pilot provinces should give priority to the task, and enhance coordination between medical reform and other works.

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