China's Policy Experimentation on Long-term Care Insurance: Implications for Access

Yumei Zhu, August Österle

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review

12 Downloads (Pure)


China’s population is aging rapidly, while the traditional long-term care (LTC) system that heavily relies on families is eroding. In response, China has embarked on a journey of policy experimentation for long-term care insurance (LTCI) since 2016, launching LTCI pilots in 15 pioneer cities. These pilots have a great diversity in participation, eligibility, and provision. This paper estimates the prevalence of LTC needs and analyzes the impact of the LTCI pilots on access. Although substantial progress has been achieved, the overall coverage of LTCI is still relatively small and a large proportion of vulnerable people needing LTC seem to be left behind because of the strict eligibility criteria. This analysis suggests that future policy experimentation on LTCI reform in China needs to address the following pressing policy issues: expanding the coverage of LTCI; narrowing rural-urban disparities in access; improving access for vulnerable sub-populations; and reducing the heavy reliance on institutional care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1661 - 1674
JournalInternational Journal of Health Planning and Management
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 303010 Health economics
  • 509005 Gerontology
  • 509012 Social policy

Cite this