BEIJING, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Medical insurance subsidies for rural residents will increase in 2013, China's health authority said on Wednesday.
Under the new rural cooperative medical program, the annual government grant for each rural resident will rise from 240 yuan to 280 yuan (45.75 U.S. dollars), according to a National Health and Family Planning Commission statement.
Under the program, rural residents will pay 20 yuan more. They will pay a 70 yuan-per person premium, bringing the total for each person to 350 yuan, up from 290 yuan in 2012.
China launched the rural insurance scheme in 2003 in a bid to ensure that the country's vast number of rural residents have access to affordable medical treatment and to reduce disease-triggered poverty.
The amount of people covered by the program has skyrocketed from 80 million to more than 800 million, or 99 percent of the country's total rural population, the commission's figures showed.
The average fund has risen from 30 yuan in 2003 to the current 350 yuan.