Today marks the first day of the kōreisha iryō seido, the new national health insurance plan for those older than 75 years of age.
The good news is that the deductible for the cost of a doctor visit or a hospital stay falls from 30% to 10%. The bad news is that every individual over 75 years old must pay into the system, meaning the elimination the dependent family member (fuyōkazoku) reduction.
The average price of the new superseniors medical insurance policy is 72,000 yen per year per person. However, the price of insurance varies between the prefectures according to formulas worked out by prefectural insurance associations for the cost of providing medical care for seniors.
The big loser in these calculations (when it comes to central government programs is this even a question which prefecture takes the bullet?) is Kanagawa Prefecture, with an annual insurance fee of 94,000 yen per gray head. Right behind Kanagawa is Tokyo at 91,000 yen per capita. At the other end of the scale is Aomori Prefecture, whose insurance association is demanding only 45,000 yen per person.
Shakai kakusa, anyone?
Moral of the story--if you are over 75, retired, not wealthy and have serious medical problems, you should consider moving to somewhere cold and bleak where the doctors are few and far between.
Your total payments into the system will be reduced...one way or another.