Disability Elderly Health Japan

Japan Plans Hike for Elderly Out-of-Pocket Medical Fees

Under the current system, people aged 75 or above, excluding those with incomes comparable to those of preretirement workers, pay 10 pct of medical expenses out of pocket. The government plans to boost the share to 20 pct for those with incomes above a certain level.

From Jiji Press

December 19th 2019

TOKYO – The Japanese government plans to raise the share of out-of-pocket medical expenses for some elderly people, it was learned Thursday.

Under the current system, people aged 75 or above, excluding those with incomes comparable to those of preretirement workers, pay 10 pct of medical expenses out of pocket. The government plans to boost the share to 20 pct for those with incomes above a certain level.

The hike comes as Japan approaches an imminent spike in the number of elderly people in fiscal 2022, when the post-World War II baby boomer generation begins to reach the age of 75. Medical fees paid by the government are expected to surge as a result, making an increase in social security premiums paid by the current generation or the funneling of more tax revenue into the medical system all but inevitable.

The government drew up the plan in an interim report submitted to a recently established panel for debates on building a social security system benefiting all generations.

The panel will continue discussing the income threshold for the rise in the share of out-of-pocket expenses and will compile a final report next summer. A bill to revise related laws will be submitted to an extraordinary session of parliament next year at the earliest opportunity.

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