Japan Diet Votes to Raise Medical Fees for Elderly

Politics

Tokyo, June 4 (Jiji Press)--The Diet, Japan's parliament, on Friday enacted a bill to raise out-of-pocket medical expenses for some people aged 75 or over to 20 pct of costs from the current 10 pct.

The reform is designed to ensure fairness in medical cost burdens between generations by lowering the share of working generations. But it may prompt some elderly people to refrain from seeing doctors, pundits said.

The bill cleared the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, following its passage at the House of Representatives, the lower chamber, last month.

The share of medical costs to be paid by elderly people living alone on an annual income of at least 2 million yen will be raised to 20 pct sometime between October 2022 and March 2023. The income threshold for the higher burden is set at 320 million yen for households with two elderly members.

Currently, the share of out-of-pocket medical expenses is set at 30 pct for people aged 75 or over who live alone on an annual income of 3.83 million yen or more. They account for 7 pct of the total elderly population.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press