All 52 major Japanese cities to boost care insurance premiums

Kyodo

Nursing care insurance premiums for people aged 65 or older will be raised from April in Japan’s 52 major cities to cover the increase in nursing care service users in the aging society, a Kyodo News survey showed Thursday.

Monthly premiums for the 52 cities, including 47 prefectural capitals and Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward, will increase to an average of ¥5,263 in April, up ¥890 from the current average of ¥4,373, according to the survey.

The hikes range from 9.1 percent for Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, to 32.5 percent for Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture, and amount to 20 percent or more in 28 of the 52 cities. In Utsunomiya the monthly premium will rise to ¥4,064, and in Kofu to ¥5,521.

Among the 52 cities, the monthly premium currently exceeds ¥5,000 only in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture. From next month, monthly premiums will exceed that level in 40 cities, with the highest premium to be ¥5,950 in Niigata.

A monthly premium level of ¥5,000 is seen as a limit for elderly people depending only on pension benefits.

Municipalities review nursing care insurance premiums every three years.