Mass evacuation and increases in long-term care benefits: Lessons from the Fukushima nuclear disaster

Autoři: Tomohiro Morita aff001;  Michihito Ando aff002;  Yui Ohtsu aff003
Působiště autorů: Internal Medicine, Soma Central Hospital, Soma, Fukushima, Japan aff001;  Department of Economics, Rikkyo University, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Japan aff002;  Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Saitama University, Shimo-Okubo, Sakura-Ku, Saitama, Japan aff003
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(9)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0218835



Though mass evacuation may increase the need for long-term care (LTC) services, how the need for LTC services increases and how the public LTC system affects it is not well understood. We evaluated changes in public LTC benefits for the people living in the mandatory evacuation areas established after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and examined the roles of the universal LTC insurance system in Japan.


In order to evaluate the effect of the mandatory evacuation on LTC benefits, we examined the trends of LTC benefits in the Fukushima evacuation group and the nationwide non-evacuation group. We first decomposed per-elderly-individual benefits at the municipality level into the LTC certification rate and per-certified-individual benefits, and then implemented difference-in-differences analysis using these variables as outcomes.


Per-elderly-individual benefits significantly increased from 2012 onward in the evacuation group, and this was explained by an increase in the certification rate rather than in per-certified-individual benefits. Increases in per-elderly-individual benefits and the certification rate in the post-disaster period were observed in all but the highest care level, and the corresponding outcomes for the highest care level decreased immediately after the disaster. We also found that the increase in the certification rate had been mostly realized by an increase in the number of certified individuals.


The increase in LTC benefits can be associated with the impact of the increase in the number of people newly certified to receive LTC benefits after the mandatory evacuation. In order to cope with the increase in utilization of long-term care and associated costs after disasters in aging societies, both formal long-term care services and social support for informal care for evacuees should be considered important.

Klíčová slova:

Aging – Elderly – Finance – Geriatrics – Insurance – Japan – Long-term care – National governments


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