Nursing care payouts may hit 20%

JIJI

The welfare ministry plans to raise the share of costs for insured nursing care services to 20 percent from 10 percent for people with certain levels of income, sources said.

The ministry is looking to raise the burden on people receiving pension income of at least ¥2.8 million to ¥2.9 million, the sources said Saturday.

It will present the proposal to a subcommittee of the Social Security Council, an advisory panel to the welfare minister, on Wednesday, the sources said. The ministry expects to submit a bill to revise the Long-Term Care Insurance Act to the Diet next year so the revision can be made in fiscal 2015.

At present, people 65 or older can receive nursing care services if they pay 10 percent of the costs out of their own pocket, regardless of income.

Due to the rapid aging of society, however, nursing care insurance payouts are climbing steadily. The payouts, which stood at about ¥9.4 trillion in fiscal 2013, are expected to hit ¥21 trillion in fiscal 2025, when the postwar baby boomers reach the age of 75.

Given the severe fiscal threat, the National Council on Social Security System Reform proposed in August that people with certain incomes shoulder more of the cost for insured nursing services.