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Henderson, Gail E.; Jin, Shuigao; Akin, John S.; Li, Zhiming; Wang, Jianmin; Ma, Haijing; He, Yunan; Zhang, Xiping; Ching, Ying; & Ge, Keyou (1995). Distribution of Medical Insurance in China. Social Science & Medicine, 41(8), 119-130.


This paper investigates factors related to the distribution of medical insurance coverage in China, using information from an eight-province household survey of almost 16,000 individuals, conducted in 1989. Results of bivariate analyses show that medical insurance coverage, defined very broadly, varies considerably by individual and regional characteristics. Age, gender, education, occupation, employment sector, urbanization, level of industrial and commercial development, and province are all related to being insured or not. In addition, we find that the type of insurance program available to people varies by these same factors, and that the benefits provided by the seemingly uniform public and worker programs also vary, especially by province and degree of urban development. When the individual and regional variables are considered together in logistic regression analyses, the factors most strongly statistically related to the likelihood of being insured are where one works and where one lives. The distribution of insurance benefits in China appears to result in a pattern in which the rural and the poor, who are often at great risk of illness, are less likely to have medical insurance.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Social Science & Medicine


Henderson, Gail E.
Jin, Shuigao
Akin, John S.
Li, Zhiming
Wang, Jianmin
Ma, Haijing
He, Yunan
Zhang, Xiping
Ching, Ying
Ge, Keyou