Financing Long-Term Care: Lessons From Japan

Document Type: Editorial

Author

St. Luke’s International University, Tokyo, Japan

Abstract

Long-term care (LTC) must be carefully delineated when expenditures are compared across countries because how LTC services are defined and delivered differ in each country. LTC’s objectives are to compensate for functional decline and mitigate the care burden of the family. Governments have tended to focus on the poor but Germany opted to make LTC universally available in 1995/1996. The applicant’s level of dependence is assessed by the medical team of the social insurance plan. Japan basically followed this model but, unlike Germany where those eligible may opt for cash benefits, they are limited to services. Benefits are set more generously in Japan because, prior to its implementation in 2000, health insurance had covered long-stays in hospitals and there had been major expansions of social services. These service levels had to be maintained and be made universally available for all those meeting the eligibility criteria. As a result, efforts to contain costs after the implementation of the LTC Insurance have had only marginal effects. This indicates it would be more efficient and equitable to introduce public LTC Insurance at an early stage before benefits have expanded as a result of ad hoc policy decisions.

Highlights

Commentaries Published on this Paper

  • Financing Long-term Care: Some Ideas From Switzerland; Comment on “Financing Long-term Care: Lessons From Japan”

          Abstract | PDF

  • Notes About Comparing Long-term Care Expenditures Across Countries; Comment on “Financing Long-term Care: Lessons From Japan”

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  • Long-term Care Financing: Inserting Politics and Resource Allocation in the Debate; Comment on “Financing Long-term Care: Lessons From Japan”

          Abstract | PDF

  • The Evolution of Long-term Care Programs; Comment on “Financing Long-term Care: Lessons From Japan”

          Abstract | PDF

  • Political and Cultural Foundations of Long-term Care Reform; Comment on “Financing Long-term Care: Lessons From Japan”

          Abstract | PDF

  • Financing Long-term Care: The Role of Culture and Social Norms; Comment on “Financing Long-term Care: Lessons From Japan”

         Abstract | PDF

  • Aging, Pensions and Long-term Care: What, Why, Who, How?; Comment on “Financing Long-term Care: Lessons From Japan”

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  • Aiming Higher: Advancing Public Social Insurance for Longterm Care to Meet the Global Aging Challenge; Comment on “Financing Long-term Care: Lessons From Japan”

          Abstract | PDF

  •  The Challenge of Sustaining Long-term Care in Aging Societies: Lessons From Japan and Spain; Comment on “Financing Long-term Care: Lessons From Japan”

           Abstract | PDF

Keywords

Main Subjects


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