The Interactions between Social and Commercial Health Insurance after China’s Entry into the World Trade Organization

  • Qiang Sun
Part of the Social Policy in a Development Context book series (SPDC)


Like many other developing countries undertaking health sector reform, China puts health insurance reform high on its policy agenda (Naylor 1999; Phua 1999). Since the 1980s, China has implemented a series of health insurance reforms, culminating in the government’s major policy decision in December 1998 to establish a social health insurance system for all urban employees. The key policy, ‘The Decision to Establish an Urban Employee Basic Health Insurance System’ (hereafter called The Decision) is to set up the Urban Employee Basic Health Insurance Scheme (UEBHIS) which pools some elements of risk for all urban workers, including both public and private sector employees, at the city level. By the end of 2003, most cities had established the UEBHIS, covering at that time about 100 million people (Yao 2004). The urban workers covered by the UEBHIS receive only a basic set of health services as defined by an Essential Services List and Essential Drug List issued by the government.


Health Insurance World Trade Organization Health Insurance System Health Insurance Scheme Social Health Insurance 
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© United Nations Research Institute for Social Development 2005

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  • Qiang Sun

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