What exactly is it?
I got an email from HR the other day telling me about changes in the rate of kaigo hoken (nursing care insurance) and kosei nenkin (employee pension) from this year.
Now, I'm not sure what the current rates are, but I assume these are increases.
It seems that kaigo hoken rates are set by the national government for workers (over 40, under 65) and by local governments for retired people (over 65). I found this article that shows the increases by area. Lots going up by over 10% from April!
I realized I don't really know what kaigo hoken is, how it works, or how much it is worth. The purpose of this post is to share some things I found online and (hopefully) get some more knowledgeable people to fill in the gaps.
WHAT IS KAIGO HOKEN?
Well, there is a very long and detailed article here. There is also a slight more readable government website here that shows what is covered by the system.
Basically kaigo hoken appears to be an effort to reduce costs and increase coverage of nursing care for elderly people. It seems to have succeeded at the latter while failing at the former.
WHO PAYS KAIGO HOKEN?
It seems everyone over 40 who pays national health insurance does. People on shakai hoken pay half of the premiums and their employer pays the other half. People on kokumin nenkin pay half of the premiums and the government pays the other half.
People over 65 pay premiums directly to their local authority.
WHAT DOES KAIGO HOKEN COVER?
It covers care services for people who are bed-ridden, infirm, or have certain diseases. In order to receive services people need to be certified by their local authority.
You can see a bit more about the system at this site.
It seems that 90% of the cost of home helpers (people coming to your home to help with bathing, cleaning, etc.) and visits to day care services is covered. Recipients are responsible for paying the other 10%.
Given how expensive care can be, if you are planning to remain in Japan indefinitely it seems desirable to make sure you are paying kaigo hoken in order to receive the benfits if necessary. My father in law goes to day care several days a week, and it is a life-saver for his wife and the family as whole.
How about you? Any experience of kaigo hoken? Did I miss anything in this post or get anything wrong?