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Premier Li highlights benefits of social security and commercial insurance link

Updated: Jul 24,2015 1:51 PM

Coordination between social security and commercial insurance marks a major innovation in the ongoing medical reform, Premier Li Keqiang noted at the State Council executive meeting on July 22.

It will create more advantages, the Premier said, by using part of the social security fund to purchase commercial insurance, which will pave a new road in the process of reforming the medical system.

Critical illness is a challenging problem as many of those at the lower end of the income scale have suffered a serious illness and become impoverished by heavy costs.

From 2012, the State Council carried out pilot projects regarding critical illness insurance in 31 provincial regions. Of these, 16 have already adopted the new measures province-wide, covering more than 700 million people.

The trial shows that the new insurance measures enable people who suffer critical illness to receive 10 percent to 15 percent more reimbursement than the basic medical insurance, effectively preventing them from carrying the burden of high costs.

In many countries, developed or developing, social security and commercial insurance are two separate systems. The critical illness insurance in China shows a new different feature by combining the two systems, the Premier noted.

The Premier said that the critical illness insurance is an important part of China’s medical security system, which will serve as a “stabilizer” of society.

The Premier also noted that there is a need to further improve the system by setting a scientific standard to identify “critical illness” and “inability to pay” and undertaking inspection to prevent unreasonable costs of medication and medical treatment.

The introduction of commercial insurance notably raised the level of medical insurance, and the government should attach great importance to the effectiveness of its investment, the Premier noted at the meeting.