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Taicang reforms social medical assistance system to help underprivileged groups

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2016-01-21

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Taicang government has offered 100 million yuan to 480,000 people in social medical assistance since 2011, Taicang Daily reported on Jan 20.

The government has integrated management staff, information and funds and other resources to construct an efficient platform providing quality medical assistance to citizens.

Not only the civil affairs bureau is working for the medical assistance program. Labor unions, human resources and social security bureaus, and national health and family planning units have also joined forces to provide better medical assistance to citizens.

Previously structured as reimbursement of medical care payments, medical assistance in Taicang is now being provided at the time of medical service to relieve targeted groups' financial burden.

More than 10 government papers issued in the past few years reviewed the targeted groups and diseases of medical assistance, the standard procedures, and fund management. Various innovative measures have been adopted.

Taicang's medical assistance system used to cover mainly minimum income recipients, but has now expanded to people who earn double those amounts.

Underprivileged groups already under other protective measures can also get relief from medical care insurance premiums.

Patients can get a third compensation for medical care cost if even after social medical care insurance and commercial insurance out-of-pocket expenses are still high.

The government sets no threshold for underprivileged groups to get help from the medical assistance system. Coverage is provided to people with severe disabilities, recipients of minimum income, and people at the threshold of receiving minimum income.

The government also pays the basic social medical care insurance premiums for the targeted groups, and has increasingly raised the reimbursement rate of several specially stipulated out-of-pocket expenses.

Editedy by Peter Nordlinger