China / Society

70,000 orphans receive free health insurance

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-09-07 16:12

BEIJING - More than 70,000 orphans were given free health insurance on Monday as a new-school year gift.

The children, from Sichuan Province in southwest China, and Guangdong in south China, are the latest beneficiaries of a Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) and China Children Insurance Foundation (CCIF) program launched in July 2009.

The insurance, which is covered by donations and lasts for at least 12 months, is for underprivileged children and MCA-registered orphans. More than 440,000 orphans have benefited from the program since its conception, according to CCIF managing director Heidi Hu

According to Hu, Mukuyiwumu, 12, who, under the pen name Liu Yi, wrote a heartbreaking essay about the loss of her parents that has been shared widely online since June, has also been included in the program.

Mukuyiwumu is from Meigu County in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province. Her essay has been read by millions of people, many of whom called for support for the girl and her three siblings.

"The four children were covered by our insurance last year, and we have renewed their contracts," said Hu.

Each child is insured for 100,000 yuan (16,339 U.S. dollars) at a premium of 50 yuan a year to cover the cost of treating 12 critical illnesses, including malignant tumors and conditions requiring organ or stem cell transplants.

The contracts are usually renewed annually, but the CCIF has extended the insured period to three years in some regions, according to Hu

"Based on the amount of money donated, we are trying to help more children with a longer period of coverage," she said.

The CCIF has distributed more than 1.3 million insurance contracts to children in more than 24 provinces and regions.

Hu said the organization had received more small, private donations this year, mainly through the Internet. In previous years, donations were mainly from large enterprises.

Officially, China has more than 570,000 orphans, however, the actual number is believed to be much higher, as those that live in remote areas or have relocated to cities with their migrant worker relatives may have been overlooked.

Donation information can be checked online at

Hot Topics