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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 July 25 - 31  > A record number of people face seizure of properties due to arrears in nursing-care insurance premiums
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2018 July 25 - 31 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

A record number of people face seizure of properties due to arrears in nursing-care insurance premiums

July 31, 2018

An increasingly large number of people 65 years of age and above have difficulties in paying nursing-care insurance premiums. In 2016, a record high of 16,161 of them experienced the seizure of their properties due to arrears in premium payments, Akahata reported on July 31 based on a Welfare Ministry survey.

The number of seizures increased by 20% from 13,371 in the previous year. This shows that as public nursing-care insurance premiums keep going up, more and more people, mainly low income earners, are unable to make the payments of premiums.

In addition to the attachment of properties, persons who failed to pay nursing-care insurance premiums can face other types of penalties. In 2016, around 20,000 people were penalized. For example, some were required to pay 30% of the fees for any nursing-care services that they received instead of the usual 10% and others had to pay 100% of the fees and were told that they could later claim a refund.

The Japanese Communist Party has been urging the government to introduce a system to reduce or exempt the burden of the premium payment for those who cannot pay the full amount. The JCP has also proposed that the government shoulder a much larger share of contributions to the public nursing-care insurance program. The party argues that the government will be able to secure necessary funds by having wealthy individuals and large corporations pay their fair share of taxes without raising the consumption tax rate.

Among people who are 65-years-old and over and covered by the public nursing-care insurance, around 90% have their premiums deducted from their pension benefits. The remaining 10% pay using payment slips because they receive little or no pension benefits.

Past related articles:
> Record 13,000 elderly people have their life savings seized due to arrears in nursing-care insurance premiums [July 10, 2017]
> Bill to impose further burden of nursing-care services on elderly enacted [May 27, 2017]
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