The NRCMS, overseen by the Ministry of Health, is a basic health social security system, started in 2003, that combines insurance and social assistance, and targets all farmers and rural residents in China. The NRCMS is a large state subsidized and linked micro-insurance system with premiums apparently exceeding RMB 100 billion and covering about 800 million people.
In order to ensure the efficient management of NRCMS, the PRC Government has recently allowed commercial insurers to enlist to help run the scheme and assist in matters such as certifying insurance claims. Commercial insurers will be paid for their work but must qualify to enlist in the scheme. According to Nie Chunlei, a Ministry of Health official, commercial insurers must be certified and have a "good" network of branches, especially at the township level. According to Nie, only about 10 insurance firms currently meet this requirement at the township level.Please click here for a copy of the NRCMS.