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Henan patients can now claim health insurance at all hospitals across province

By Yang Ziman ( Updated: 2016-05-19 17:19

All of the 18 provincially administered municipalities in Henan province have been incorporated into the medical system that allows patients to use their health insurance cards freely in these cities, according to government officials of the medical reform office in Henan.

Jiang Xingyi, deputy director of the Henan medical reform office, said that the province has built a cross-city medical cost settlement platform that allows patients to get treated in hospitals outside their permanent residential towns and still get the medical costs reimbursed.

In the current medical care system in China, patients can only be reimbursed when they go to hospitals covered by their health insurance cards.

"Henan's reform takes the lead in the country because not only have we broadened patients' options of hospitals, also they get reimbursed the moment they check out of the hospital, saving all the paperwork they need to go through in order to get the money back in their hometown," said Jiang.

The pilot program of a unified settlement platform for medical services in Henan began in 2013. As of the end of 2015, 19,669 patients had used the platform for reimbursement, with a total medical cost of 43,523 yuan ($6,655), of which 32,642 yuan was covered by the medical care system.

As a major migrant worker supplier in China, Henan has also experimented with cross-province medical cost settlement, said Wang Yaoping, director of the grassroots health office of the health and family planning commission in the province.

So far, several pilot programs have been established in hospitals outside the province, such as the People's Hospital in Hubei, to help migrant workers from Henan province working away from home to get timely treatment in the nearest hospitals while getting the costs covered by their health insurance. These programs will be expanded in the future to cover more than 20 million such migrant workers, Wang added.

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