The governments of Hebei, Liaoning, Shandong, Guangdong, and other places in China recently announced they would increase the cumulative payment period for employees’ medical insurance to 30 years for men and 25 years for women by 2030 applied as of July 1.

The new medical insurance policy means that corporate employees who would pay medical premium insurance for 15 years must continue to pay.

Radio Free Asia cited Zhang Yang, a sociology expert in Guangdong on July 14, claiming that the issue is exceedingly serious, as not many people can afford 30 years of medical insurance.

Zhang gave an example; nowadays, many employees cannot work at the age of 25. They start work in their 30s as a doctor or a graduate student. It is almost impossible for them to afford 30 years of payment. Usually only through working can they afford the payment of social security and health insurance. If they are unemployed, they cannot afford the payment.

The rise in premiums in Guangdong worries Mr. Gao, a Wuhan resident. First of all, he argues that there is a shortage in the government health insurance fund and that authorities want to compensate for this by raising the number of premium years. 

Mr. Gao added that the burden on the average person will be greater now if the regulations change and it will significantly affect normal employees. In particular, some people have a short working life, and it is impossible to pay for 30 years.

Mr. Gao believes that three years after the outbreak of COVID, the government’s cost for nucleic acid testing has exceeded 300 billion yuan (around 44.4 million dollars), and the medical insurance fund bears the cost. 

Mr. Gao said: “There is not much money for medical insurance, otherwise it will not skyrocket all of a sudden, there must be a problem with the funds.”

Radio Free Asia cited Mr. Mao, a researcher on social welfare issues in China.He explained that the government has raised residents’ medical insurance premiums to 30 years. The problem is very serious. Because not many people can afford to pay medical insurance for 30 years. 

Mr. Gao stated, “the cost of nucleic acid testing in various places is paid from the medical insurance fund. They have drained the medical insurance premiums paid by employees. So they have to extend the period of paying medical insurance to make up for it. This issue greatly impacts the public, because they have to pay 15 more years.”

This May, the macro research team of Huachuang Securities estimated the cost of nucleic acid testing at about 300 billion yuan (around 44.4 million dollars) in the past two years. In the first four months of this year, the Chinese government spent nearly 150 billion yuan (22.2 million dollars). 

The expert Zhang Yang stated that in the challenge of China’s zero-Covid policy, with the current balance of the medical insurance fund at 3.6 trillion yuan (nearly 533 billion dollars) and normalized nucleic acid testing. If no corresponding measures are taken, the medical insurance balance could be maintained for a maximum of three years. 

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