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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018, Article ID 3163746, 18 pages
Review Article

Development of Commercial Health Insurance in China: A Systematic Literature Review

State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Macau

Correspondence should be addressed to Hao Hu; om.camu@uhoah

Received 18 April 2018; Accepted 6 June 2018; Published 28 June 2018

Academic Editor: Abdelaziz M. Thabet

Copyright © 2018 Weng I. Choi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Facing difficulties like increasing health burden and health inequity, China government started to promote commercial health insurance (CHI) in recent decades. Several policies and announcement have been issued to build up a favorable environment for development of commercial health insurance. Meanwhile, scholar tried to investigate the related issues in purpose to further improve the situation in China. Therefore, we performed this systematic review in order depict a comprehensive picture on the current evidence-based researches of CHI in China. We searched PubMed, ScienceDirect, and CNKI, supplemented with hand search in reference lists, for eligible studies published from 1990 January to 2018 April. Also, hand search was conducted to select suitable articles from international organization and reference list of eligible articles. Two independent reviewers extracted the data from eligible articles and input into a standardized form. Based on the inclusion criteria, 35 articles were included in this systematic review. Most of the studies were quantitative researches with topics such as the development level of commercial health insurance in China, the demand and supply issues related, and the relationship and influence of social health insurance, as well as the moral issues evolved from commercial health insurance system. In summary, CHI in China is still at the early development stage. Among those few evidence-based articles, the findings suggested several policy implication and different market strategy. With the initiation of new health reforms and implementation of taxes policy, more empirical researches should be conducted on issues relating to the practical operation of CHI.