BEIJING — Medical insurance subsidies for China’s rural residents will increase this year, the country’s health authority has said.
Under the new rural cooperative medical program, the annual government grant for each rural resident will rise from 320 yuan to 380 yuan ($60.79), the National Health and Family Planning Commission said in a circular.
Under the program, rural residents will pay 30 yuan more. They will pay a 120 yuan-per person premium, bringing the total financing for each person to 500 yuan.
The government will also take moves to make sure the program’s reimbursement rate for outpatient and hospitalization expenses stay at around 50 and 75 percent, respectively.
China launched the rural insurance scheme in 2003 in a bid to ensure that the country’s vast number of rural residents have access to affordable medical treatment and to reduce disease-triggered poverty.
More than 800 million people have joined the new rural cooperative medical program, the commission’s figures show.
To reduce risk and ensure fairness, the government will use the fund to buy insurance for those with serious diseases and punish those who abuse the fund.