Better known for its panda sanctuary and spicy local cuisine, Chengdu could be the first Chinese city to offer mutual health insurance. What is at stake is the supplemental financing of healthcare in the world’s second-largest healthcare market.
The initiative is coming from VYV, a French insurer, which is taking the first steps towards introducing China to mutual insurance, whereby the insurance company is owned entirely by its policyholders.
Chinese patients to date have only state-sponsored schemes to mitigate the cost of healthcare, but the extraordinary economic development of the country has stretched social relationships and institutions to their limit.
Financing healthcare around private insurance has been tried but this has not been fully successful as it is limited to very narrow needs and wealthy people.
The Chengdu pilot would be the first real mutual insurance in China. Eric Bouteiller of our Cornerstone Beijing office and leader of the Cornerstone Life Science Practice in China, examined the potential impact of mutual insurance in a recent essay for Pharma Boardroom, a global industry magazine.