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China boosts health insurance for impoverished patients

Updated: Oct 27,2018 9:14 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China has released a three-year work plan to boost health insurance for impoverished residents in rural areas in a bid to assist the country’s ongoing poverty alleviation campaign.

The 2018-2020 work plan, focusing on people living in extremely impoverished areas and those in poverty through illness, aims to ensure poverty-stricken rural residents benefit more from the health insurance, according to the State Medical Insurance Administration.

Basic medical insurance, major disease insurance and medical assistance should cover every rural resident by 2020, said the plan, jointly released by the State Medical Insurance Administration, the Ministry of Finance and the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development.

Major disease insurance will pay more of the medical fees of impoverished rural residents by 2020, it added.

China has pledged to eradicate poverty by 2020, meaning there are around 30 million people left to be lifted out of poverty in less than three years.

“About 40 percent of these people are stricken by poverty caused by illness,” said Hu Jinglin, head of the State Medical Insurance Administration. “Many of them are suffering from serious or chronic diseases or diseases easy to relapse.”

China views illness-caused poverty as a great challenge in the country’s battle against poverty, and issued guidelines on carrying out health insurance programs in impoverished rural areas in 2016.