China will actively promote the development of commercial insurance in social services to provide stronger support for the aging population and cater to public demands for other types of insurances, the State Council's executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided on December 30.
It was pointed out at the meeting that China has stepped into an aging society and the number of people above the age of 60 has reached 250 million. It is important to provide insurance products that specifically cater to their demands and at the same time improve the insurance supply for other groups.
"We must fully recognize the importance of commercial insurance in the social services sector. The number of people above the age of 60 is taking up an increasing proportion in the entire population in China, while the number of children under six has exceeded 100 million," Li said. "The current supply of commercial insurance can hardly meet the needs in the changing democraphics. Yet commercial insurance is an effective means for senior citizens to maintain and raise their quality of life."
It was agreed at the meeting that commercial endowment insurance will be developed at a faster pace and the overall pension insurance structure will be refined. Support will be given to developing, by drawing upon international experience, diversified pension annuity insurance products and medical insurance and accidental injury insurance that are tailored for the needs of those over 60 years of age. The development of long-term nursing care insurance will be stepped up.
"It is important to plan ahead and provide policy support as appropriate to continuously expand the scale of commercial endowment insurance and improve its quality, so as to cater to the ever-growing needs of the people. What is especially important is to increase the supply of insurance products and resolutely tackle the difficulty in settling insurance claims," Li said.
Quality of insurance products and services will be significantly improved. Insurance institutions will be encouraged to provide comprehensive insurance products that cover multiple sectors including medical care, nursing care and maternal services. New medical technologies and products will be included, step by step, in the coverage of commercial health insurances. Insurance products will be created to meet the needs of low-income groups and those working in new types of businesses.
The meeting urged accelerated efforts to open up the insurance market and foster a level-playing field to promote the upgrading of insurance services.
"China has started relatively late in the development of commercial endowment insurance and thus lacks enough experience. It is important to learn from advanced experience worldwide, continue to open up our insurance sector, and in this process, develop our own commercial endowment insurance to meet the needs of an aging society," Li said.