The Nanjing Branch of the Taiping Insurance Company introduced insurance for diseases entitled Yikang and Shoukang covering HIV/AIDS. And it's the first time that HIV/AIDS enters the region of domestic insurance.
However, the compensation conditions for HIV/ AIDS are very strict.
According to a principal of the company named Feng, the insurance policies are mainly for HIV/AIDS patients infected during blood transfusions. Insurants who meet the following three conditions can get compensation: there is evidence proving that they were infected with HIV/AIDS during a transfusion involving medical accidents; they are not hemophilia patients; and HIV/AIDS is threatening their lives and cannot be cured, or the disease is not in a latent period.
Feng gave an example of a healthy non-smoking 28 year-old man, who pays 290 yuan (US$35) each year up to aged 60, can get compensation as much as 10,000 yuan (US$1,208) once he catches HIV/AIDS and other serious diseases. Feng added that HIV/AIDS cannot be cured at present, as it was not included in previous disease insurance. And it is the first time domestic insurance covers HIV/AIDS.
The compensation conditions need discussion. Hemophilia patients have to transfuse regularly and theoretically they are probably more likely to become infected with HIV/AIDS and need the insurance more than ordinary people, but are excluded. Meanwhile, HIV/AIDS patients have a latent period of several to 10s of years. In the period, their life is not threatened and can not get compensation.
Feng explained that the company needs to restrict the risks of compensation within its payment range. He added hospitals and blood centers will take care of their responsibilities, even with patients getting insurance compensation.
Despite strict compensation conditions, experts think the insurance positive. Some experts with the Chinese Health Education Research Center said it should be seen as a breakthrough that HIV/ AIDS is eventually covered by business insurance.
(China.org.cn by Feng Yikun, September 11, 2003)