Medical insurance merger approved for urban, rural equality

Updated: 2015-12-09 21:29


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BEIJING - Senior Chinese officials have approved a document to merge China's two medical insurance schemes for urban and rural residents in a bid to guarantee equal access to basic healthcare.

The schemes' coverage, fund raising policies and fund management should be unified, according to decisions reached at Thursday's meeting of the central leading group for comprehensively deepening reform, presided over by President Xi Jinping.

According to a statement issued afterwards, the meeting urged building a "multi-layered medical security net" integrating basic medical insurance, insurance for major diseases, medical assistance, commercial medical insurance and charity funds.

China implements three separate medical insurance schemes -- basic medical insurance for urban employees, the new rural cooperative medical scheme, and basic medical insurance for city dwellers not covered by the first two schemes, mainly underage and unemployed people.

The two schemes for urban residents are managed by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, while the scheme for rural people is administrated by the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

Calls have been made to put the three under one administration in order to raise efficiency.

The meeting also reached a decision to raise the level and quality of opening up in the educational sector.