3,000 orphans from Hainan receive free insurance covering severe illnesses
More than 3,000 orphans from south China's island province of Hainan have received insurance contracts to cover the treatment of 12 critical illnesses, a charity foundation said Tuesday.
An insurance fund created through donations will be accessible for one year from Jan. 1, 2012, according to Dr. Heidi Hu, managing director of the China Children Insurance Foundation (CCIF).
"It's the first time that we have been able to offer insurance to registered orphans in Hainan, but it definitely won't be the last time," Dr. Hu said.
The foundation launched a joint program in cooperation with the Ministry of Civil Affairs in 2009 to offer free medical insurance to 712,000 orphans, according to the CCIF.
Each insured child is covered for 100,000 yuan (15,474 U.S. dollars) at a premium of 50 yuan per year, said Huang Lishui, general manager of the Beijing branch of PICC Health Insurance Company Ltd.
The 12 major illnesses covered by the insurance program include malignant tumors, illnesses requiring organ or stem cell transplants, acute kidney failure, aplastic anemia, acute hepatitis and infantile paralysis, Huang said.
In addition to insurance for Hainan's orphans, Dr. Hu said the CCIF also renewed the contracts of nearly 20,000 orphans from Ningxia, Tibet, Shanghai and Fujian.
"After this New Year's insurance distribution, we will have provided more than 460,000 such insurances to more than 300,000 children," she said.
Children from families with financial difficulties are also on the list of beneficiaries.
"One key part of our work is to make sure that the insurance we give to the children is sustainable," Dr. Hu said.
The foundation has also received support from provincial governments in addition to donations from large companies and individuals, she said.
"We are glad to know that, in a notice issued by the General Office of the State Council in November, local governments and social charity organizations were encouraged to buy health insurance for orphans out of concern for their long-term benefit, which is a great encouragement for our work, too," she said.
To guarantee transparency in the insurance program's operation and management, Dr. Hu said that 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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