More than 400,000 Chinese children given free insurance to cover critical illnesses

10:31, July 17, 2011      

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More than 400,000 orphans and children of poor families in China have been given free insurance to cover 12 critical illnesses, according to a children insurance foundation.

The China Children Insurance Foundation (CCIF) made the announcement after it was granted the 2011 China Charity Award as "the most influential charity project" by the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) on Friday.

In cooperation with the ministry, the foundation launched a joint program in 2009 to give all 712,000 of MCA-registered orphans under the age of 18 free medical insurance, according to the CCIF.

Dr. Heidi Hu, the CCIF's managing director, said the foundation had raised more than 21 million yuan in donations so far, and provided 300,000 orphans, in 19 provinces and regions such as Sichuan, Tibet and Qinghai, with insurance.

"Orphans are our top priority, but we have also put children from families with financial difficulties on our beneficiary list," said Hu.

"Besides regular donors as big companies and individuals, we have also won the support from some provincial governments to use welfare lotteries to cover the insurances, making our program more sustainable," she said.

According to Hu, each insured child is covered for 100,000 yuan (15,474 U.S. dollars) at a premium of 50 yuan a year.

The 12 major illnesses include malignant tumors, illnesses requiring organ or stem cell transplants, acute kidney failure, aplastic anemia, acute hepatitis and infantile paralysis, Hu said.

To guarantee transparency in their operation and management, the doctor said all the donation information could been checked on the website hosted by the China Children and Teenagers' Fund, which created the CCIF in April 2009.

"We upgrade the data at real time, so that our donors can check how much they have donated and how their money has been spent at anytime online," said Hu.

The foundation said that it hopes more businesses and members of the public will donate to the program.

Source: Xinhua
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