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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 July 22 - 28  > 2.45 million households in arrears with payment of national healthcare insurance premiums
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2020 July 22 - 28 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

2.45 million households in arrears with payment of national healthcare insurance premiums

July 27, 2020

A Ministry of Health and Welfare survey shows that about 2.45 million households were in arrears with payment of national healthcare insurance premiums in fiscal 2019.

More than 30% of these households were found to be stripped of their proper healthcare insurance cards because they fell behind in their payments, according to the same survey.

The national healthcare insurance system operated by local governments covers self-employed individuals, many non-regular workers, and people without jobs.

As of June 1 last year, 17,871,062 households were enlisted in the national healthcare insurance system. However, 2,449,629 of them were unable to pay even a small portion of the premiums or paid only a portion, accounting for 13.7% of the total households eligible for the insurance. The delinquent payment rate in Tokyo was 22.3%, the highest among prefectures.

"Short-term insurance certificates" which have shorter periods of validity were issued to 621,322 households as punitive measures due to their payment delinquency. Meanwhile, "temporary insurance certificates" were provided to 150,970 households with which they must pay the full amount of medical fees at hospitals and are eligible to receive a partial refund later. With the two types of certificates combined, more than 770,000 households or 31.5% of the total were without proper insurance cards.

The Japanese Communist Party has been demanding that the central government inject public funds of one trillion yen in order to reduce the exorbitant insurance premiums. The JCP has also been proposing that relevant laws be revised in order to end ruthless seizures of health insurance cards.

Past related articles:
> Many people fall in arrears with public health insurance premiums payment due to hard times [November 13, 2019]
> 349K households in arrears with national health insurance premiums had their assets seized in 2017 [April 14, 2019]
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