HANGZHOU, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- More than 10,000 people who have suffered severe diseases or faced difficulties incurred by accidents have received help from an online mutual aid plan launched by Ant Financial, the company said Wednesday.
Since Ant Financial launched the online healthcare platform Xiang Hu Bao, which means "mutual protection," a year ago, more than 100 million users have joined the platform, with one-third of them coming from rural areas or county-level regions, according to the company, an Alibaba affiliate.
Offered through Ant Financial's online payment platform Alipay, Xiang Hu Bao requires no premiums. Users can sign up for free, and the platform functions like a collective. When a member requires medical treatment, other members contribute evenly to payouts, which can be up to 300,000 yuan (about 42,800 U.S. dollars) in total.
Through collective aid, Xiang Hu Bao lowers the barrier for people to obtain basic health protection, enhancing their ability to counter risk, said Zhu Minglai, director of a research center for health economics and medical insurance under Nankai University.