Compulsory long-term insurance is likely
To defuse a demographic “time-bomb”, China is very likely to introduce compulsory long-term care insurance to cope with ever-increasing care needs, particularly for the elderly, said a national political adviser.
China has an increasingly aging population coupled with surging chronic diseases, and “it’s the right time to introduce such a new social insurance program as a pre- emptive approach,” said Hu Xiaoyi, head of the China Social Insurance Association, on the sidelines of the two sessions.
China has 150 million people aged 65 and older, with at least 40 million of them partially and fully disabled.
To leave such elderly people fully dependent on their children for long-term care is, in Hu’s opinion, unrealistic.
China has five social insurance programs — elderly care, health, unemployment, work injury and maternity.
They are run by the government, and premiums are paid by the individual and the employer on a compulsory basis. Hu expected long-term care would be the sixth.