Make better use of urban medical insurance fund

Updated: 2013-12-03 16:59

By Li Yang (

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The government should make better use of the accumulated surplus of the medical healthcare insurance fund to satisfy the people’s need for better healthcare services, says an article of the 21st Century Business Herald. (Excerpts below)

The surplus of the national urban medical healthcare insurance fund reached 764.4 billion yuan ($125.4 billion) by 2012. Since 1999, the surplus rate has exceeded 20 percent every year except 2010. The rate hit a record high of 35 percent in 2001. In contrast, the surplus rate of the developed countries is often controlled at an average of below 10 percent.

On one hand, we have cries from urban residents for better healthcare services. On the other, is the huge surplus of the medical insurance fund, the essence of which is to take care of the people.

Preparing for the aging society coming in 10 years should not be an excuse to cover up the waste of such a huge medical financial resource.

The Ministry of Health and Ministry of Finance issued a document in 2007 ordering the surplus rate of the rural medical healthcare insurance fund, which is based on the rural residents’ own accord, should be controlled at below 15 percent, to ensure a thorough use of the fund.

But the authorities’ document on urban medical healthcare insurance released in 2009 did not stipulate such a clear ceiling figure and only required the annual surplus should be sufficient to pay six to nine months of medical expenses. An accumulated surplus exceeding 15 months of expenses is regarded as too high and a surplus of less than three months’ expenditures is regarded as too low.

The urban medical healthcare insurance fund management department should draw lessons from the management of the rural medical insurance fund surplus.