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China's social security white paper (full text)
Updated: 2004-09-07 11:23

The reform of China's medical insurance system faces many heavy tasks. In future, the state will further expand the coverage of medical insurance to steadily include eligible people in all kinds of employment in urban areas in the basic medical insurance scheme; strengthen and improve medical insurance management and services; curb the irrational increase of medical expenses, and provide better services for the insured; establish and improve a multi-level medical security system, gradually lessen personal burden on the insured, and realize the stable operation and sustainable development of the medical insurance system.

IV. Insurance for Work-related Injuries

The Chinese Government has made great efforts to establish an insurance system for work-related injuries that includes work-related injury prevention, compensation and recovery. After January 2004, when the "Regulations on Insurance for Work-related Injuries" went into effect, the coverage of such insurance has expanded rapidly. By the end of June 2004, as many as 49.96 million employees had underwritten this insurance scheme.

Establishing a Social Pool System for Insurance Funds for Work-related Injuries

The state stipulates that all enterprises and all individual businesses engaged in industry and commerce with employees must participate in work-related injury insurance, and pay insurance premiums for all their employees, permanent as well as temporary. The individual employees do not pay such premiums. The work-related injury insurance scheme adopts a social pool fund program with a balance of revenue and expenditure, and collection determined by expenditure. The social pool funds are established by cities at the prefecture level or above. The government determines the differential premium rates according to the degree of risk of work-related injuries involved in different sectors, and sets several premium rates within each sector according to the insurance payments and occurrence rates of such injuries.

Defining the Social Security Benefits

The work-related injury insurance scheme adopts the principle of "no-fault compensation." The benefit items mainly include medical expenditures for work-related injuries; injury and disability subsidy, allowance and nursing fee according to the degree of loss of the ability to work; funeral subsidy, pension for the keep of family members and a lump-sum death subsidy payment, all of which go to the directly-related family members of the deceased worker in the case of death resulting from a work-related accident. The main qualifying condition for insurance payment is that the employee has been injured as a result of a work-related accident or has contracted an occupational disease during his or her working hours and within his or her workplace.

Exercising a Labor Ability Assessment System

The state has uniformly formulated and promulgated a national standard for assessment of the degree of a work-related injury and the degree of a disability caused by an occupational disease, whereby to assess the labor ability of an employee suffering from disability and whose labor ability has been affected due to a work-related injury, notwithstanding its being in a relatively stable condition after treatment. The labor ability assessment includes rating of the degree of physical impediment for labor and the degree of impairment to self-care ability. A labor ability assessment committee, consisting of representatives from relevant departments of the government, trade unions and employing units, is formed in each provincial-level city and city divided into districts to be in charge of the assessment of labor ability of injured and maimed employees. Application for labor ability assessment can be submitted by the employing unit, the employee suffering from the injury, or his or her directly-related family members, to the local committee. Having received the application, the committee will randomly choose members from its reserve of medical and health experts to conduct the assessment, and give its assessment conclusion based on the experts' opinions.

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