Shanghai plans to cover citizen's COVID-19 test costs with public medical insurance

Yang Meiping
Shanghai Healthcare Security Administration says issues such as what kind of tests and who could be included in the public health care security system are under discussion.
Yang Meiping

Shanghai is stepping up efforts to include the cost of COVID-19 tests in the public health care security system, authorities said on Monday.

Xia Kejia, director of the Shanghai Healthcare Security Administration, said the city is discussing issues such as what kind of tests and who could be included in the system now and enforce the national administration’s decision to put the tests into the public health care security system as soon as possible.

The national administration released a notice on June 19 asking local administrations to put COVID-19 nucleic acid tests, antibody tests and related materials into local health care security systems and work out settlement terms.

Xia also said 11 medical institutions in Shanghai, including Zhongshan, Huashan, Ruijin and Renji hospitals, have joined the online medical service system since the city launched it to provide convenient subsequent checks for patients of common ailments and chronic diseases and enable them to pay for services with the public health care insurance directly online.

Xia said more than 15,700 online subsequent medical services have been offered to date, with 2.27 million yuan (US$32,083) paid by the insurance.

He said Shanghai is also negotiating with the governments of Jiangsu,  Zhejiang and Anhui provinces to have one or two hospitals from each to join the system to enable citizens in the Yangtze River Delta region to enjoy convenient online medical services.

Authorities in the region joined up more than a year ago to enable patients to seek offline outpatient medical services in hospitals in the region and paid the fees with their insurance accounts directly. By the end of May, the intercity settlement system had been used about 1.16 million times and paid about 274 million yuan for patients, Xia said.

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