Developing a private health insurance market in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone - some external perspectives

We note that the financial services sector is one of six sectors prioritised for regulatory reform in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (SFTZ) and that within the financial services sector, health insurance is one of the three key priorities listed.

We therefore submit this paper to offer experiences from international healthcare markets with varying degrees of established and emerging private healthcare systems and provide a number of points for further discussion on the basis of this analysis.
We summarise the main characteristics of four private health insurance (PHI) systems – the United Kingdom (UK), Spain, Australia and India.

The remainder of this paper provides an overview of the challenges facing healthcare systems around the world, including China. The paper then looks at the core characteristics of three developed markets that have taken different approaches to creating a PHI system through policy decisions in areas such as market structure, product coverage, taxation and regulation.

The paper then looks in more detail at potential areas for further discussion within the SFTZ and potential regulatory approaches that would impact on the PHI market in the region. It outlines a set of core areas that could help determine the size, scope and potential uptake of private health insurance in a market.

Key discussion points

  • Develop appropriate classification of private health insurance to enable specialist companies to enter the market
  • Develop means of encouraging customers to take-up private health insurance.


You can also download this report in Chinese.