Caixin reported that Beijing authorities announced on Friday, August 19, that as of September 1, the municipality of Beijing would decrease the amount of medical insurance funds deposited into the individual accounts of urban workers.

The notice has become a hot topic.

According to the announcement, the funds should only be used to pay for specific medical expenses in medical facilities or designated retail pharmacies. 

The new regulations will no longer allow system members to take out funds from their accounts at will. However, members can take out funds deposited before September 1.

As a result, according to The Creaders news, system members flock to withdraw money at the Beijing Bank, creating a long queue.    

The news outlets said the bank had made preparations in advance for the centralized cash withdrawal situation that might arise after the release of the notice. 

The bank staff also said that it is mainly customers who take away the funds in the passbook in the short term, and even in extreme cases, the impact is controllable.

As Caixin reported, in the urban workers’ program, funds are deposited into participants’ individual accounts and shared accounts managed by the local medical insurance regime.

The collective accounts are used to refund the medical costs of all local members in the medical insurance scheme, while the individual accounts are for personal medical expenses.

However, medical insurance specialists have been calling for tighter control over or even cancellation of individual accounts. They say that the operation of these funds is too loosely regulated.

According to the reporters’ understanding, the Bank of Beijing is designated as the cooperative bank of Beijing Medical Insurance.

Previously, the workers could transfer the medical insurance funds paid into the medical insurance passbook monthly to the savings card and withdraw their money freely.

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