Japan Ruling Parties OK Scope of Elderly Medical Cost Hike

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Dec. 10 (Jiji Press)--Japan's ruling parties on Thursday formally agreed to double out-of-pocket medical expenses to 20 pct for people aged 75 and or over with an annual income of 2 million yen or more.

The Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Komeito, decided to carry out the medical cost increase sometime in the second half of fiscal 2022, or between October 2022 and March 2023. They also agreed to implement measures to limit medical cost increases to up to 3,000 yen a month for outpatients aged 75 or over for the first three years after the hike.

The agreements were reached in a meeting between policy affairs chiefs of the two parties.

The timing of the hike was decided based on the request of Komeito, which had called for the increase to come in October 2022 or later. This is apparently aimed at avoiding a negative impact on the election in summer 2022 for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament, pundits said. The specific date to implement the hike will be decided by a government ordinance later.

Based on the LDP-Komeito agreement, the government plans to include details for the proposed medical cost hike in a final report to be compiled soon by a panel to discuss the country's social security system for all generations. The government will submit related legislation to next year's ordinary parliamentary session, to be convened in January.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press