Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Japan's government plans to reduce medical insurance coverage for some elderly citizens to curb ballooning costs that are forecast to reach as much as 40 trillion yen, or US$345bil, in 10 years.
The Government said it aimed at cutting payments made under the state-run medical insurance programme by 7.5% over the next 10 years, and by 12.5% over the next 20 years, the Health and Welfare Ministry said in a statement.
The ministry's proposal will raise payments for those between 70 and 75 years old to 20% of total medical bills from 10%.
Those aged between 70 and 75 with higher income will pay 30%, up from 20%. People between 65 and 69 will benefit under the proposal, paying 20% of total medical costs from 30%.
Government medical insurance payouts are expected to total 28.3 trillion yen in the year ending March 2007, the ministry forecast.
Under the new plan, the ministry said it aimed at cutting 3 trillion yen off medical costs in the year ending March 2016, which was 7.5% less than the current forecast.