An estimate disclosed Nov. 19 by the health and welfare ministry says that the monthly premium for nursing care insurance paid by people aged 65 or over could go above ¥5,000 in the near future.

Specifically, the estimate says that the nationwide average premium may reach about ¥5,200 in fiscal 2012, a rise of 25 percent from the current ¥4,160, due to the ever-increasing number of nursing care service recipients, and the expansion and improvement of nursing care facilities. Every third year, the nursing care insurance system is reviewed. A revised system will start in fiscal 2012. At present, people start paying premiums for the insurance when they reach 40.

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