China plans to expand pilot medical insurance program for rural children

09:24, June 29, 2011      

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China plans to expand a pilot medical care project to all rural areas by September to give increased financial assistance to children with congenital heart disease and leukemia, Health Minister Chen Zhu said Tuesday.

By September, all rural children who have joined the New Rural Cooperative Medical Care System, a medical insurance plan for villagers, will be eligible for more than 70-percent reimbursement for the costs involved in treating these diseases, a rate established in the pilot program, Chen said at a meeting.

The government launched the pilot project in 15 provincial-level regions in June 2010 to provide larger reimbursement for medical bills to rural children with critical diseases such as congenital heart disease and leukemia and succeeded in cutting their medical expenses by about 60 percent, according to the ministry.

The project helped 9,059 children get medical treatment for these illnesses as of April, ministry's figures show.

China's new rural cooperative medical care system now covers 832 million people, or more than 96 percent of the rural population.

Under the plan, the government and a farmer jointly contribute 300 yuan in premiums each year, which then allows farmers to be reimbursed for about 70 percent of their inpatient costs.

Source: Xinhua
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