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Orphans covered by free health insurance program

2014-05-30 14:08 Xinhua Web Editor: Mo Hong'e

More than 60,000 Chinese orphans received free health insurance contracts on Friday as a gift for the upcoming Children's Day.

Under a joint insurance program supported by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the China Children Insurance Foundation (CCIF), the insured will be covered for the cost of treating 12 critical illnesses.

The latest beneficiaries are from Qinghai, Henan, Beijing, Tianjin and north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Of those covered, 4,659 orphans from Inner Mongolia were covered for the first time by the charity program.

"We're proud of having more children in need of help in our program, and so far, we're proud that we have given more than 930,000 insurance contracts to children in 20 provinces and regions," said Dr. Heidi Hu, CCIF's managing director.

Each insured child is covered for 100,000 yuan ($16,000) 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, said Dr. Heidi Hu, CCIF's managing director.

An insurance fund created through donations will be accessible for one year starting on June 1, said Hu.

The program was launched in 2009. Insurance contracts have also been donated to children whose families have financial difficulties.

Insured children will be notified about their coverage by local civil affairs departments, which will act on behalf of the CCIF in distributing specially designed insurance cards, according to the doctor.

China has more than 570,000 orphans officially registered, however, the actual number is believed to be bigger, as some in the far-flung rural areas might have been missed, while other orphans being raised by migrant worker relatives might not be counted when they move to big cities.

"It's not easy to follow those who we call 'migrant orphans,' but we definitely hope to help them. That's what we're going to do in the future," said Hu.

The number of small online donations has been rising over the past two years. Previously, money was mainly donated by large enterprises.

To guarantee transparency in the insurance program's operation and management, Dr. Hu said all donation information can be checked and verified online at baoxian.cctf.org.cn, a website hosted by the China Children and Teenagers' Fund, the parent foundation of the CCIF.

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