This article explores an emerging trend among young and middle-aged rural couples in Northeast China who have purchased recently marketized commercial insurance as a way to prepare for self-support in old age. It discusses how the commercial insurance industry has created a rural elder-care market among a population that traditionally relied on family for support in old age. It also delves into the ways in which the transformations of intergenerational exchange and family structure and a lack of health care access have contributed to the preparation for self-support in old age and have thus fostered the creation of a rural elder-care market for the insurance industry. This emerging trend reveals a transition from traditional family support to a combination of multiple ways of elder care, in particular self-support in old age. It also suggests that while the Chinese state is facing a pressing issue of supporting an increasing aging population and the Chinese family is coping with the burden of elder care, the insurance industry is playing an increasing role in elder care in China.
Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology – Springer Journals
Published: May 21, 2018
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