BEIJING — The cancellation of personal or household medical insurance accounts will not reduce the benefits enjoyed by rural residents during the reform, according to the National Healthcare Security Administration (NHSA).
Personal or household medical insurance accounts, which have only existed in the new rural cooperative medical scheme since 2003, are primarily used to cover outpatient costs.
Such accounts will be replaced by a coordinated outpatient insurance mechanism under the universal basic medical insurance service for both urban and rural residents, said the agency in an explanatory note earlier this week.
The NHSA said that the personal account arrangement played a constructive role in the first few years such as raising public awareness of the rural cooperative medical scheme and expanding its coverage, but could hardly provide sufficient support to the patients.
The coordinated outpatient insurance mechanism would reimburse about 50 percent of the outpatient cost of treating common diseases, according to the NHSA.
It had ordered all such existing accounts to be closed by the end of 2020 through “smooth transition.”
China has pledged to build a unified healthcare security system to replace separate rural and urban medical insurance schemes to give urban and rural residents equal benefits.