Although the Chinese people are willing and able to spend more money on health care, it is still unaffordable if they have to pay on their own. Government medical insurance programs play a key role in providing affordable health care to ordinary people. There are three major government medical insurance programs in China: Urban Employee Basic Medical Insurance (UEBMI), Urban Resident Basic Medical Insurance (URBMI), and New Rural Cooperative Medical System (NRCMS). UEBMI, funded by employers, is a mandatory basic health insurance program for urban employees of state-owned or private enterprises.28 URBMI, funded by the government and individuals, is a voluntary basic health insurance program for urban residents who are not eligible for UEBMI (such as seniors, the unemployed, children, students, and disabled people).29 NRCMS, funded by the government and individuals, is a voluntary basic medical insurance program for rural residents.30,31 In 2006, the populations covered by UEBMI, URBMI, and NRCMS were 160 million, 10 million, and 410 million, respectively, for a total of 580 million, covering only about 45% of the total Chinese population (1.32 billion in 2006) (Fig 5).20,32 The premium level of the government medical insurance programs is relatively low compared with the increasing health-care expenditure, so people still have to pay a large fraction of the health-care cost on their own, even if they are covered by a national medical insurance program. The low cover rate and low premium level of government medical insurance make it difficult for Chinese people to obtain sufficient support to pay for their health-care.