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[Correspondence] Integrating social health insurance systems in China

Leaders in China recently announced the decision to merge the Urban Resident-based Basic Medical Insurance Scheme and the New Rural Cooperative Medical Scheme, two of its three main social health insurance schemes.1 For the first time, the Chinese Government has officially endorsed a unified insurance scheme for residents in urban and rural areas, with unification of coverage, a fund pooling mechanism, a benefits package and reimbursement rates, a basic medical insurance drug list, unified selection of health providers, and fund management.