Case Study: Expanding Availability of Healthcare Services

Private Health Insurance for Cancer Treatment in China, Roche


A system of broad private or public health insurance is essential to improve access to medicines and diagnostics. However, in a number of countries, there is limited health coverage which means that the bulk of costs are paid out-of-pocket by patients or their families.

To help address this, Roche is working closely with local insurance companies in countries such as China, Brazil, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Mexico, Peru and Russia to develop and launch affordable cancer insurance policies, through which patients can now receive appropriate and affordable cancer care.

Lessons Learned

Insurance policy pay-outs often do not fund adequate medical care for cancer, and local insurance companies lack the information to develop such policys. Through Roche's worldwide contacts with hospitals, labs and healthcare networks we were able to provide local and global data on cancer treatment options and cost analysis, based on incidence and mortality rates, to local insurance companies. This enabled them to launch affordable cancer policies that cover the best available treatment, access to hospitals and doctors, and cancer education and support.

In addition, Roche provides education on cancer for the insurance sales-force to improve their skills and knowledge so that they can better promote the policies.

Results to Date

  • The most advanced programme is in China, where over 1.3 million oncology insurance policies were sold in 2011. In 2012, close to 10 million policies were sold.
  • Roche currently has contracts with seven major Chinese insurance companies, along with a number of third parties, to provide additional services such as cancer awareness programmes, treatment and care follow-up and support.
  • We are working with multi-national companies to help them provide medical coverage for their employees. Roche purchases a cancer insurance package for their employees in China.
  • Future developments include the “Green Channel Access plan” which helps insured to get seen quicker by the relevant doctors. Roche is bringing insurers and hospitals together to develop this.

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