The National Healthcare Security Administration (NHSA) has announced that the ongoing health insurance reform process is being conducted in response to the growing demand of the people for reimbursing outpatient medical bills. The authorities believe that this reform will bring significant benefits to more outpatients, without requiring any extra input from employers and employees.
With the aim of improving the quality of healthcare services and ensuring universal access to medical services, the NHSA has been working towards enhancing the health insurance system in the country. One of the key focuses of this reform process is to provide better coverage for outpatient medical expenses, which have been a major burden on many patients.
According to the NHSA, this reform will bring significant relief to patients who have been struggling with high out-of-pocket expenses for their outpatient treatments. With the new reforms, patients will have easier access to the necessary medical care and will be able to get timely treatment without worrying about the costs.
The NHSA has assured the public that the ongoing health insurance reform process is being carried out with the utmost care and attention to the needs of patients. The authorities have also urged the public to stay informed about the changes and to take advantage of the improved healthcare services that will be made available to them.
The basic health insurance system for urban employees and retirees was established in 1998 and has been playing a crucial role in ensuring access to healthcare services for millions of people in China. This system is comprised of two parts: mandatory personal accounts, which were previously funded by both employees and employers and primarily covered general outpatient services and medicine expenses, and a pooled fund contributed by employers, which mainly reimbursed hospitalization bills.
However, with the significant changes that have taken place in China’s society and economy over the past two decades, the existing mechanism has struggled to meet the emerging medical needs of the public, particularly in terms of receiving outpatient services. As a result, the National Healthcare Security Administration (NHSA) has been working on a comprehensive reform process to improve the health insurance system and better serve the needs of the people.
According to the NHSA, chronic diseases have become the leading cause of illness in China and are responsible for more than 85 percent of deaths in the country. The medical expenses associated with these diseases account for over 70 percent of the overall financial burden of medical care. This indicates a significant shift in the type of illnesses affecting the population and highlights the need for a more flexible and responsive health insurance system that can cater to the changing medical needs of the public.
The NHSA has recognized the need to provide better coverage for outpatient medical expenses, which have been a significant burden on many patients, especially those suffering from chronic diseases. The ongoing reform process aims to improve the quality of healthcare services and ensure that patients have access to timely and affordable medical care. The NHSA is committed to ensuring that the new health insurance system is more responsive to the emerging medical needs of the population and is designed to provide better coverage and benefits to patients across the country.
The current health insurance system in China has struggled to keep up with the emerging medical needs of the public. With chronic diseases becoming the leading cause of illness, it is imperative that the system is reformed to better meet the needs of patients. The NHSA’s ongoing reform process aims to create a more flexible and responsive health insurance system that can cater to the changing medical needs of the public, particularly in terms of outpatient services, and ensure that patients have access to the necessary medical care without worrying about the costs.
The most effective way to manage chronic diseases is to detect and treat them early by visiting outpatient departments. Unfortunately, the current system, which requires employees and retirees to cover these expenses with personal accounts, is insufficient to meet these needs. Inadequate coverage can lead to people delaying or avoiding necessary medical care, which can worsen their health conditions and increase the cost of treatment in the long run. Therefore, policymakers should consider alternative solutions to improve access to affordable outpatient care for all.
Medical technologies have rapidly advanced in recent years, leading to an increasing number of medical examinations and procedures that can now be provided through outpatient services. This shift has led to an increase in the number of visits to outpatient departments. According to the National Health Security Administration (NHSA), the number of visits to general outpatient and emergency departments nationwide increased by 312 percent from 1.95 billion to 8.04 billion between 2001 and 2021. This trend is expected to continue, as outpatient care becomes more accessible and affordable.
However, the limited amount of funds in personal accounts can’t cover the expenses generated by these visits. The current system leaves patients with a financial burden that can be difficult to manage, especially for those with low income or chronic conditions. The cost of medical care is a major concern for many people, and the lack of affordable options can lead to financial distress and worsen their health outcomes. Policymakers should consider innovative financing mechanisms to increase coverage and reduce the financial burden on patients.
The shift towards outpatient care provides an opportunity to improve access to affordable medical care. However, the current system of relying on personal accounts to cover expenses is inadequate, and alternative financing mechanisms should be explored. Policymakers must prioritize improving access to outpatient care to ensure that everyone has access to timely and appropriate medical care, regardless of their financial situation.
China has experienced a rapid increase in its aging population, with the number of seniors aged 65 and above growing from 90.62 million to 205 million in the decade through 2021. This demographic shift has significant implications for the healthcare system, as elderly people are more likely to suffer from chronic illnesses and require frequent medical attention. As a result, addressing the healthcare needs of this population has become a major policy challenge for the government.
Elderly people tend to generate higher medical bills than younger people due to their higher likelihood of falling ill and suffering from multiple chronic conditions. In the old healthcare system, the reimbursement of outpatient medical bills was insufficient, which discouraged some elderly residents from seeking necessary medical care. This led to a worsening of their health conditions, which could have been prevented with timely and appropriate medical attention.
The National Health Security Administration (NHSA) has noted that the new healthcare reform aims to address this issue by consolidating contributions from employers into unified accounts that support the reimbursement of general outpatient bills. This new system ensures that elderly residents can receive the medical care they need without facing financial barriers. It also aligns with the government’s goal of promoting a healthy aging population and providing universal access to affordable healthcare for all.
The rapid aging of China’s population poses significant challenges for the healthcare system. The new healthcare reform aims to address some of these challenges by improving access to outpatient care and providing adequate reimbursement for medical bills. By supporting the health needs of elderly residents, policymakers hope to promote a healthy aging population and ensure that everyone has access to high-quality and affordable medical care.
The ongoing healthcare reform in China has tangible benefits for the public, according to the National Health Security Administration (NHSA). These benefits can be grouped into three main areas. Firstly, the basic health insurance system for urban employees will be expanded to cover reimbursement for outpatient medical bills in more regions of the country. This will ensure that more people have access to affordable healthcare and reduce the financial burden of medical expenses.
In addition to expanding coverage, the reform also seeks to improve reimbursement rates for those who are already receiving reimbursement for outpatient medical bills. This is especially important for individuals who frequently visit hospitals and may have exhausted their personal account deposits. By providing financial support through health insurance funds, the reform ensures that patients can receive the medical care they need without worrying about the cost.
Another significant benefit of the reform is the inclusion of general outpatient services in the reimbursable category. This can alleviate the pressure on inpatient departments at medical institutions and address the shortage of hospital beds in major institutions. By facilitating the reasonable distribution of medical resources, the reform ensures that patients in need have access to the necessary care.
Retired individuals also stand to benefit from the healthcare reform. The threshold for reimbursement is lower for retirees than for working people, and the percentage of reimbursement is higher. This ensures that retirees have access to affordable healthcare and are not excluded from the benefits of the reform.
In addition to these benefits, the reform also allows insured individuals to use the money in their personal accounts to help their family members, including their elderly parents. This can improve access to healthcare for vulnerable populations and ensure that families can support each other in times of need.
The impact of the reform has already been significant. According to the NHSA, the pooled fund saved employees 108.6 billion yuan (about 15.75 billion U.S. dollars) when receiving general outpatient services in 2022. The NHSA also notes that more efforts will be made to help localities optimize reform measures, including adding more pharmacies to the system to support efforts to cover outpatient expenses through unified accounts.
Overall, the tangible benefits of the healthcare reform in China are far-reaching and significant. By expanding coverage, improving reimbursement rates, and including general outpatient services in the reimbursable category, the reform ensures that more people have access to affordable healthcare and reduces the financial burden of medical expenses. By continuing to optimize reform measures, policymakers can ensure that everyone has access to high-quality and affordable medical care.