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China to further unify rural, urban medical insurance schemes

Updated: May 14,2019 8:51 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China plans to fully establish a unified national medical insurance service for both urban and rural citizens across the country, according to a circular issued by the National Healthcare Security Administration and the Ministry of Finance.

The circular urged seven provincial-level regions that have not yet fully integrated their rural and urban medical insurance schemes to speed up the process and establish a unified system by the end of 2019.

Currently, 24 provincial-level regions in China have replaced separate rural and urban medical insurance schemes with a unified medical insurance service, to give urban and rural residents equal benefits.

The circular also noted that the average minimum amount of medical insurance subsidy for each citizen will increase by 30 yuan (about $4.4) from 490 yuan last year to 520 yuan in 2019.

Rural residents in China used to have a medical insurance scheme inferior to urban citizens. The standardization of rural and urban schemes started in 2017.