China To Expand Medical Insurance

China plans on expanding medical insurance. When the insurance is expanded, it will cover all critical illnesses for rural and urban residents. The insurance expansion could be completed by the end of the year. The government announced its plans on Sunday, and this is one of the recent steps that the government is taking to fix its healthcare system.

According to Reuters, 50 percent of medical costs will be covered by medical insurance. The State Council released a statement that said this is a bid to reduce the burden of medical expenses.

The plan to expand medical insurance may not come as a shock for many people. This is because access to affordable healthcare has been something that President Xi Jinping’s government has been touting. Many people in China have often complained about how they have to pay large expenses as a result of low levels of insurance coverage, according to Business Insider.

Many people said that medical costs associated with illnesses such as diabetes and cancer can leave households bankrupt with the current healthcare system. The State Council said that expanding health insurance was to “effectively alleviate poverty caused by illness,” as well as to build a stronger universal healthcare system.

Throughout the last six years, China has spent a lot of money on healthcare reform. The government has spent around $480 billion on reform. Regardless of that, the system struggles with issues such as attacks on patients on medical staff, as well as a scarcity of medical doctors.

Some economists have said that if China wants to remake its economy, then it needs to improve the quality of its healthcare. Expanding medical insurance may be able to do just that. Also, some have said that if China has a strong safety net, then it would encourage the country to spend more and save less.

There are some that are predicting that by 2020, China’s healthcare spending will hit $1 trillion. If that happens, that will be up from $357 billion in 2011.

China has not only made news because of its plans to expand medical insurance, but recently it decided to lift a ban on game consoles, which was previously reported by the Inquisitr. The ban was in place for 15 years, but the country decided to allow consoles in the country. The reason why the ban was put in place was to prevent kids from developing physical ailments or develop mental ailments. However, in 2014, the government did allow consoles to be sold in the Shanghai free trade zone.

[Image by Michael Coghlan/Flickr]