February 18, 2019
Chairman of the Board,
IBM Japan Health Insurance Association
Public Notice no.532
A look at the financial status of the Health Insurance Association shows that reserves (special reserve fund and balance carried forward from the last account) are shrinking due to expenditures to cover revenue shortfalls resulting from continually rising medical care costs and contributions to the medical care systems for the elderly. It is now clear that maintaining health insurance premiums at their current rate would result in an untenable budgetary situation; the required reserves would enter negative territory in fiscal 2020. Accordingly, the Association has chosen to implement the minimum increases needed to meet these rising expenditures. The revisions will be implemented in stages after setting the new rates required to achieve targeted reserves for fiscal 2019 and beyond. Based on this policy, starting with premiums for March 2019, the rate for health insurance premiums will increase from 68.4/1,000 to 71.5/1,000. (Deductions at this new rate will apply to salary payments for April.)
Likewise, setting appropriate long-term care insurance premium rates is essential for long-term care insurance to meet continual increases in long-term care contributions paid by health insurance associations to cover the ever-increasing cost of long-term care benefits as the population ages. To date, the Association has kept long-term care insurance premium rates unchanged by covering shortfalls in long-term care insurance premium revenues from its reserve funds. With reserve funds tipping into negative territory in fiscal 2018, the Association balanced revenues and expenditures through transfers from health insurance accounts. The Association’s contributions are now projected to continue to increase in fiscal 2019 and beyond. This would lead to significant shortfalls in the reserve funds. For this reason, the rate for long-term care insurance premiums will also rise, from 10/1,000 to 17/1,000, starting with premiums for March 2019 (to be deducted from salary payments for April).
The above revisions were approved at the 163rd meeting of the Association Committee. The Health Insurance Association will consider timely and appropriate revisions to premium rates in the next fiscal year and beyond while monitoring future developments in its finances. If you have any questions or comments concerning these revisions, we invite you to contact us through “Web Inquiries” on the website.
Health insurance associations generally indicate formal insurance premium rates in parts per thousand (‰: per mille) instead of in percentages.