Direct settlement health insurance to grow

Updated: Aug 28, 2018 China Daily Print
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China will begin operating a nationally unified medical insurance system next year to directly settle medical reimbursement, including cross-provincial cases, a high-ranking official said on Aug 24.

The system will include insured in urban and rural areas.

Two cross-province direct settlement platforms — introduced last year for urban residents’ basic medical insurance and rural residents’ new cooperative medical reimbursement — feature easier procedures for cross-regional applications, said Li Tao, deputy head of the State medical insurance administration. They have seen a surge in reimbursements, Li said.

Insured people can submit records to medical insurance agencies in their home regions and choose designated medical institutions in other provincial regions for direct reimbursement, Li said at a policy briefing hosted by the State Council Information Office on Aug 24.

The briefing came after a State Council executive meeting on Aug 22. Meeting participants decided to ensure at least one designated medical institution for the direct reimbursement settlement in each county-level region by the end of this year.

Direct settlement of cross-province medical reimbursements means eligible insured people will have to pay only for the share of medical expenses for which they are responsible. Other expenses will be paid by home medical insurance agencies to medical institutions where they receive treatment, according to the State medical insurance administration.

The administration was established following a plan on deepening reform of Party and State institutions that was released by the Communist Party of China Central Committee in March. It integrates some functions related to medical insurance, previously governed by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and other departments under the State Council, China’s Cabinet.

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