The State Council, China’s cabinet, last month for the first time listed charitable donations, mutual medical assistance, basic medical insurance, medical assistance, supplementary medical insurance and commercial health insurance as part of a national multi-level medical security system.
This ushers in opportunities for commercial insurance platforms to strengthen its role in public welfare.
Aware of the opportunities, Internet giant Tencent’s insurance platform WeSure announced on 16 April the establishment of the “WeSure Public Welfare Fund”, to develop the “insurance + public welfare” operating model. The model banks on online insurance as the mode to attract charitable donations and leverages the technological advantages of Tencent.
“We are using the leverage of the Internet and insurance to increase penetration and participation in charity, amplify our ability to help, and enhance the effectiveness of insurance as a social stabiliser.” WeSure CEO Mr Alan Lau said.
WeSure’s Public Welfare Fund will focus on three major areas: assistance programmes for individuals with serious illnesses, guardianship programmes focusing on special resident groups, and caring programmes focusing on public events.
Connection between insurance and public welfare
In real life, disease is the number one factor that affects people’s lives. China’s current priority is still to solve the problems of housing, education, and income, etc. Once, a person falls seriously ill, the situation could bring great damage to the family. At such a time, insurance plays a vital role. It not only transfers money to such families, but also gives them hope for the future.
In order to respond to the national call for poverty alleviation and mobilise social participation in this effort, it is very necessary to include insurance, especially health insurance, within the scope of public welfare.
Since its establishment in 2017, WeSure has been exploring charitable welfare. One of its first attempts at combining charity with insurance is the “Yao Shen Bao-Special Medicine Assistance Programme”. It sets the rule that whenever a user purchases a Yao Shen Bao policy, WeSure will donate CNY1 to the China Primary Health Care Foundation to help cancer patients who are in urgent need of special medicine.
Mr Lau said, “Donations of money and supplies are the traditional paths for enterprises to participate in community welfare; but if the public welfare concept can be effectively embodied into the design and implementation of insurance products, it can maximise synergy generated by vast social forces, which is beneficial to the country’s public welfare system.”