Press Conference by SUZUKI Shunichi, Minister of Finance and Minister of State for Financial Services
(Friday, September 2, 2022, 10:42 am to 10:57 am)
[Questions and answers:]
A review of the insurance industry’s COVID-19 hospitalization benefit coverage was announced yesterday. Please let us hear your views as the Minister for Financial Services as well as the government’s thinking on this matter.
I am aware that since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, insurance companies have been making special treatments in paying out hospitalization benefits even when their insurees have been recuperating at home under medical observation by a doctor or other health care provider because this care can be regarded as hospitalization under the terms of their insurance policies.
The government has recently been considering uniformly narrowing the reporting requirement for COVID-19 infections nationwide to those cases involving people at high risk of developing serious symptoms. Insurance companies have heretofore been regarding recuperation at home as hospitalization and exceptionally paying out hospitalization benefits, but the recent review states that the ways doctors and other medical personnel interact with persons recuperating at home will change depending on whether these patients are at high risk of serious illness. My views is that this is a partial step to return to the originally-intended insurance policy measures.
In any case, medical insurance and policy clauses vary from company to company, and we understand that individual insurance companies will be appropriately considering the matter in view of information provided by the Life Insurance Association of Japan and others.
The Financial Services Agency believes it important that insurance companies provide policyholders with careful explanations of any changes made to the coverage of hospitalization benefits and other payments.
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