Japan Adopts Bill to Raise Out-of-Pocket Medical Fees for Elderly

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Feb. 5 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government adopted at a cabinet meeting on Friday a bill to raise out-of-pocket medical expenses borne by people aged 75 or older who live alone and has an annual income of at least 2 million yen.

For these people, the burden rate of medical fees will go up to 20 pct from 10 pct at present if the bill is enacted. The income threshold will be 3.2 million yen for two-member households in which both are 75 or older.

The legislation is designed to curb the growth in burden placed on working generations. In Japan, postwar baby boomers start to turn 75 in fiscal 2022, likely boosting the country’s medical costs.

Currently, as exceptions to the 10 pct burden rate principle, those aged 75 or older with an annual income of 3.83 million yen or more are paying 30 pct. To be subject to the cost hike to 20 pct are some 3.7 million people, or 23 pct of the elderly population aged 75 and above.

The government hopes to have the medical system reform bill enacted during the ongoing ordinary session of the Diet, Japan’s parliament, which will run through June 16.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press