NewsChina Enhances Efforts to Expand Medical Insurance Coverage for Children

China Enhances Efforts to Expand Medical Insurance Coverage for Children

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China is intensifying its drive to enhance basic medical insurance for children by streamlining the registration process and ramping up outreach initiatives, as per a recent report by ChinaDaily. The National Healthcare Security Administration released a comprehensive guideline with the aim of facilitating improved access to healthcare benefits for the younger population.

Outlined in the guideline is a strategic goal to achieve an enrollment rate of over 80% for newborns in the national basic medical insurance scheme within their first year by the end of the upcoming year. The plan also envisions an overall increase in the insurance coverage rate for children by late 2025.

To achieve these targets, the administration is advocating for the active involvement of nursery care centers, local communities, and workplaces in disseminating information to parents about the necessity and procedures for enrolling their children in health insurance plans.

The guideline stipulates that newborns ideally should be insured within a 90-day window post-birth, ensuring coverage for any healthcare costs incurred during this crucial timeframe.

“Local governments should integrate the processing of registrations and other affairs related to newborns and step up information sharing between healthcare security and health authorities,” the document stated, as reported by ChinaDaily.

A key recommendation to ensure widespread coverage includes assessing the coverage rates of insured children and identifying the reasons behind the uninsured status of certain school-aged children.

Despite China’s healthcare insurance scheme covering approximately 256 million children, challenges such as convoluted enrollment steps, insufficient parental awareness, and residential limitations persist.

Ma Li from Wuxi, Jiangsu province, shared her personal narrative, recounting her experience with the digital enrollment process for her infant daughters. Despite encountering operational inefficiencies at the designated community hospital, Ma emphasized the importance of insurance, stating, “Thanks to the insurance policy, more than half of the medical fee can be reimbursed.”

In support of increased insurance uptake, Cai Fucheng, a pediatric specialist at Wuhan Union Hospital, highlighted the effectiveness of integrating insurance promotion within prenatal and postnatal care routines. This approach has resulted in a notable coverage rate of over 95% for newborns at the institution.

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