3 Aug 2009 14:36

China to increase supervision over medical insurance funds

Shanghai. August 3. INTERFAX-CHINA - The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) and the Ministry of Finance have recently issued guidelines that clarify the management of basic medical insurance funds, the MOHRSS announced on Aug. 3.

According to the guidelines, the government will increase efforts in the collection of medical insurance premiums and will raise medical expense reimbursement rates to reduce the public's medical expense burden. The government will also work towards allowing contributions by urban employee medical insurance program participants to be used to pay premiums for urban resident medical insurance program participants.

In addition, the guidelines stipulate that the urban resident medical insurance program will be managed at the city or prefecture level by 2011.

Domestic media reported last year that a government investigation had found that social security funds, including medical insurance and pension funds, were misappropriated by local governments in 16 provinces across China in 2004.

A Shanghai-based pharmaceutical analyst, who preferred to be anonymous, told Interfax on Aug. 3 that government agencies, especially the MOHRSS and the Ministry of Health, should jointly manage medical insurance funds and cooperate to combat the misappropriation of funds.

The analyst said that this can help to cut administrative costs and improve the government's collective expertise in dealing with hospitals that try to attain more reimbursement from the government than their allocated amounts.