Beijing plans to cut health insurance funds deposited into workers’ accounts

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What’s new: Beginning September 1, Beijing’s municipal government will reduce the proportion of health insurance funds deposited into city workers’ personal accounts, joining a growing list of provincial-level regions that have passed similar reforms.

The new rules also no longer allow program participants to withdraw funds from their personal accounts at will, the Beijing Municipal Medical Insurance Bureau said on Friday.

The funds will only be used to pay for certain medical expenses, in accordance with Bureau regulations, the announcement said.

Funds deposited into the accounts before September 1st can still be withdrawn regardless of the purpose.

The background: Beijing’s reform reflects last year’s call from the State Council to top up collective accounts in the city workers’ health insurance system.

From the end of 2021, China will be state-run Basic system of health insurance It covered 96.6% of the country’s 1.4 billion people, according to the National Healthcare Security Administration, which oversees the system.

The system includes a health insurance scheme for urban workers, which collects funds from workers and employers, and a separate scheme for urban unemployed and rural residents. The latter is heavily dependent on state subsidies from the central and local government due to the low level of contributions it makes itself.

In the city worker scheme, funds are deposited into participants’ personal accounts and pooled into pooled accounts managed by local health insurance agencies.

The collective accounts are used to reimburse the medical expenses of all local participants in the system, while the personal accounts are intended to pay the personal medical expenses.

However, health insurance experts are calling for tighter controls or even termination of personal accounts because the use of these funds is too loosely regulated.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related quick news stories for you to use. Click here to read the full story in Chinese here.

Contact reporter Zhang Yukun ([email protected])

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