News Life and Health01 May 2018

Japan:Two thirds of health insurance funds expect operating deficit in FY2018

01 May 2018

More than 60% of the 1,389 health insurance societies serving employees of major companies and other members are projected to run in the red in the current fiscal year (FY2018) which started on 1 April, according to the National Federation of Health Insurance Societies (Kenporen).

According to the Federation's FY2018 budget estimate report, average premiums are also pegged to rise 0.051 points from last fiscal year to 9.215%, the 11th straight year of increases.

The premium rates at 313 Kenporen-affiliated societies top the average 10% premium rate among societies of the Japan Health Insurance Association (Kyokai Kenpo), aimed at workers at small and medium-sized firms, and those 313 societies are on the brink of dissolution, reports The Mainichi.

Increasing health care costs for the elderly have pushed up health insurance society outlays and put stress on their balance sheets.

According to Kenporen, total income from premiums is set to rise 2.07% from FY2017 to about JPY8.1 trillion (US$74 billion). Some JPY4.14 trillion of that -- or about half of the total -- is committed to payouts for the legally mandated regular coverage for doctor and hospital visits by members and their families.

Care for the elderly takes up around 40% of the total budget, or about JPY3.5 trillion, covered by the premiums of members still in the workforce. This ratio is expected to pass 50% in 2025, when the baby boom generation will all be 75-plus. According to the Kenporen budget report, 283 of its member societies will already be paying out more for elderly care than for regular medical visit coverage this fiscal year.

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