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China: One in 25 orphans receive free health insurance

Nearly 30,000 of the total 712,000 registered orphans in China have received health insurance contracts to cover the treatment of 12 critical illnesses, benefiting from the expansion of a joint insurance programme sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) and the China Children Insurance Foundation (CCIF).

Paid for with donations, coverage will be accessible for one year starting from 1 January 2013. It is designed to benefit children of poor families and MCA-registered orphans under the age of 18. Each child is insured for CNY100,000 (US$16,091) at a premium of CNY50 a year.

Since the insurance programme was launched in July 2009, the CCIF has distributed nearly 650,000 insurance contracts to children in 20 provinces and regions, from the quake-hit south-western province of Sichuan to the plateau areas of Qinghai and Tibet. "It's the third year we have been able to offer such insurance to orphans in Tibet, Fujian, Liaoning and Ningxia. For those in Hainan, it's the second year," says Dr Heidi Hu, Managing Director of the CCIF.

Dr Hu says the organisation received more small-scale donations this year, mainly through the Internet, while previous years' donations were mainly made by large enterprises. He adds that CCIF will continue to work with civil departments across the country to search for possible insurants and renew its beneficiary list every year.

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India: Residence proof norms for microinsurance products eased

Insurance regulator IRDA has decided to relax the requirement of written confirmation from banks as a proof of residence for micro-insurance policy seekers from remote areas in India. "It has come to our notice that customers in remote areas who have limited access to banking facilities have difficulty in providing such written confirmations from banks" IRDA said in a notification.

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) said that the requirement of providing written confirmation from banks was posing a hindrance to financial inclusion measures. In view of this, for the purpose of purchasing micro-insurance products, copies of current passbook and statement of bank accounts with full residential details will be considered as "officially valid document" towards identity and address.

Full article here