Japan Enacts Hikes in Elderly Health Insurance Premiums

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—Japan’s parliament enacted bills on Friday to raise public health insurance premiums collected from middle- and high-income people aged 75 or over.

The revisions to laws, including the health insurance law, are part of an effort to have all generations financially support the country’s social security system by reducing the burden on the working-age population.

Under the revised laws, the government will raise the premiums for people aged 75 or over with more than ¥1.53 million in annual pension benefits, or about 40 pct of people in the age category, in stages starting in fiscal 2024, which begins next April.

The government will use the health insurance system for those aged 75 or over to finance its lump-sum childbirth allowance program, which is currently covered mainly by working generations.

Specifically, contributions will be made from the elderly health insurance system to cover 7 pct of costs needed to provide childbirth benefits, which were raised to ¥500,000 per baby in April.