Japan to Make COVID-19 Test Fees Out-of-Pocket


Tokyo, March 2 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government is planning to make fees for COVID-19 testing and outpatient treatment out-of-pocket in principle after downgrading the classification of the coronavirus disease, it was learned Thursday.

The government is expected to formally adopt the plan as early as March 10 after coordinating with local authorities.

Currently, medical expenses for COVID-19, including testing fees and hospitalization costs, are fully covered by public funds under the infectious disease law.

Under the law, the government is set to lower the classification of COVID-19 to the same level as seasonal influenza on May 8. In line with this, it plans to make out-of-pocket payments for COVID-19 treatment the same as for seasonal influenza after gradually reducing the public coverage.

According to government estimates, COVID-19 patients pay around 2,590 yen out of pocket for their first medical examination, with the out-of-pocket rate at 30 pct.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press