BEIJING, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- China will include more serious diseases in its existing rural medical insurance system in 2013, the Ministry of Health said in an annual work agenda published on Friday.
According to the agenda, pilot programs will be launched to ensure that rural children with two types of severe urine disorders, among other diseases that the plan did not elaborate on, have their medical expenses reimbursed under the rural cooperative medical cooperative program.
China launched the rural insurance scheme in 2003 to ensure that the country's vast number of rural residents have access to affordable medical treatment and to reduce disease-triggered poverty. Under the program, both governments and individuals contribute.
As of 2012, the scheme covers 20 serious diseases, up from two in June 2010, when serious diseases were first included in the reimbursement plan.
According to the ministry's agenda, the annual government subsidy for participants in the rural health care scheme will be raised by 40 yuan(6.43 U.S. dollars) to 280 yuan in 2013.
Participants will have 75 percent of their inpatient expenses reimbursed under the rural cooperative medical program and coverage for outpatient costs will be boosted, it said.
The ministry requires that the minimum annual reimbursement for rural inhabitants subsidiary should be no less than 80,000 yuan.
In 2013, individuals will each pay a 60-yuan premium, bringing the total funds pooled for each person to 340 yuan, up from 290 yuan in 2012. In 2003, the average fund pooled for each person was 30 yuan.
Official statistics show that the number of people covered by the program skyrocketed from 80 million in 2003 to nearly 900 million in 2012.