Japan Decides to Raise Out-of-Pocket Medical Fees for Elderly

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Dec. 22 (Jiji Press)--Japan on Wednesday decided to double the share of out-of-pocket medical fees paid by some elderly people to 20 pct of the costs for the services they received, starting in October 2022.

The reform step for the public health insurance system is intended to reduce the burden of working people to ensure fairness among generations. The hike was agreed in a meeting between Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki and Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Shigeyuki Goto.

Currently, the share of the out-of-pocket medical fees stands at 10 pct for those aged 75 or over in principle. The proportion is set at 30 pct for people in the age group with relatively large income, such as those who live alone with 3.83 million yen or more in annual income.

Of those to whom the 10 pct rate is applied, people exceeding certain income levels will see their fees rise. The threshold is set at 2 million yen for those living alone and 3.2 million yen for couples.

The hike is expected to affect 3.7 million people, or 20 pct of the total in the age group.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press