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2015 June 24 - 30 [WELFARE]

12,800 elderly penalized for nonpayment of nursing-care insurance premiums

June 29, 2015
The Welfare Ministry on June 28 released survey results indicating that 12,800 elderly people in 2013 received penalties for delinquency in payment of nursing-care insurance premiums.

Under the nursing-care insurance system, as a penalty, people who fail to pay their insurance premiums for 12-18 months will be required to pay the nursing-care service charge in full at the time they use the service. At a later date, they will obtain a refund of the amount paid. People whose payment is more than 18 months overdue will be unable to demand a refund until they pay off the arrears.

As the nursing-care program is operated by municipal governments, 461 municipalities around Japan used forcible measures to collect delinquent insurance premiums, such as freezing the bank accounts of those in arrears. The number of elderly people subject to such measures reached 7,900. The amount of overdue premiums in local governments marked a record high of 27.4 billion yen.

In Japan, more and more low-income elderly people are facing difficulties in their livelihoods, such as limitation on the use of nursing-care services due to failure to keep up with insurance premium payments.

Past related articles:
> Stop carelessly seizing bank accounts of people in arrears on public health insurance payments: JCP Koike [November 7, 2014]
> More local gov’ts seize residents’ properties to collect health insurance premiums [February 7, 2011]
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