More orphans in China receive free insurance to cover critical illnesses

10:02, March 31, 2011      

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Another 17,000 orphans in China have received free insurance cover for treatment of 12 critical illnesses, as a joint program between the government and a charity organization expands.

The insurance has been provided by a program launched by the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) and the China Children Insurance Foundation (CCIF) in October 2009. It is designed for all healthy Chinese children from poor families and orphans under age 18 registered with the MCA.

"The beneficiaries this time are 7,000 orphans in northeastern province of Jilin and 10,000 in the southwestern municipality of Chongqing, and the insurance, which has been paid by donations, will be valid for one year from April 1," said Dr. Heidi Hu, CCIF managing director.

"The next step will be to give insurance to orphans in the provinces of Henan and Hainan, and our goal is to extend the insurance coverage to all officially registered orphans in China," she said.

According to Hu, each insured child is covered for 100,000 yuan (about 15,152 U.S. dollars) at a premium of 50 yuan a year.

The 12 major illnesses covered include malignant tumors (such as leukemia); illnesses requiring organ or stem cell transplants; acute kidney failure; aplastic anemia; benign brain tumors; acute hepatitis; sequelae of cerebritis or meningitis; infantile paralysis; serious juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

The insured children will be notified by local civil affairs departments which will act on behalf of the CCIF to distribute specially designed insurance cards bearing info of the beneficiaries.

A survey conducted by the Ministry of Civil Affairs in 2005 said China had about 573,000 orphans under 18 years of age. Most of them had been brought up in orphanages or by relatives.

"Children from poor families are also on our help list," said Hu, adding so far, the CCIF program has offered free insurance to more than 320,000 children across the country, including 137,000 orphans.

The CCIF was set up in April 2009 by the China Children and Teenagers' Fund, China's first philanthropy foundation. It is hoped that the public and businesses can donate more to it online or through mobile text messages, as well as through banks and post offices.

Information on how to donate is available at:

Source: Xinhua
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