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Japanese health insurance (not just the national plan)

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Japanese health insurance (not just the national plan)

Postby fuzzycuffs » Thu 06.04.2009 1:44 pm

Hi, all.

So I'm moving to Japan later this year with my wife. I'm doing some research regarding health insurance while I'm there. I know there's a national plan, which I will fall under since I'll be working for an American company that letting me telecommute from anywhere. But from what she tells me, the national plan (kokuho) doesn't cover everything. Namely, it doesn't cover hospital stays (visits yes, but not stays), emergency surgery and the like in case I'm in an accident, pre-natal care when we decide to have a child, etc.

So she says that a good chunk of people also have private health insurance, that covers all the things that the national plan does not. That's where I'm stuck: I'm trying to figure out where to start looking for that type of insurance. My company is offering to pay for it, but I need to get them a basic rundown of costs.

Along those lines, from what I gather the national plan's premiums are calculated based on your income, but what if my income is technically not Japanese? Theoretically, I won't make any money in Japan. All the money I will be making is in the US and I will transfer it to Japan to live (which sucks in it's own right, but that's not the topic of conversation).
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Re: Japanese health insurance (not just the national plan)

Postby keatonatron » Fri 06.05.2009 6:43 am

fuzzycuffs wrote:Along those lines, from what I gather the national plan's premiums are calculated based on your income, but what if my income is technically not Japanese? Theoretically, I won't make any money in Japan. All the money I will be making is in the US and I will transfer it to Japan to live (which sucks in it's own right, but that's not the topic of conversation).


There is a minimum charge. I reported the fact that I had no income (because I was a student and not working), and I pay about $10 a month.

They only know what you tell them, and if your money is coming from overseas there is no way for them to check. I personally would feel like I'm cheating the system if I reported no income while making enough money to live on from overseas, but it's up to you to do what you want. I don't think you need to report everything, but maybe enough to not look suspicious. (Students often don't have incomes; the head of a 2+ person household not having an income is something to worry about!)

And the national healthcare is really quite good, so it's definitely worth it to actually pay some money for your national insurance.

I recently broke my toe and got two X-rays taken--it cost me $8 total.
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Re: Japanese health insurance (not just the national plan)

Postby OitaFish » Sat 06.13.2009 9:55 am

I am on an Employee's health insurance plan so it may be slightly different than what you will have. It pays 70% of everything. I had emergency surgery last year and a 3 week stay in the hospital. My 30% of the bill was still a fairly hefty amount.

Since then, I have enrolled in a supplemental insurance through Aflac. I think it covers 90% of whatever my regular insurance doesn't cover. You may want to look into them.

By the way, if you ever do find yourself on an extended stay in a hospital, be forewarned -- as a general rule it seems that they only accept payments in cash (meaning no credit cards) and they won't discharge you until you have paid your bill.
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Re: Japanese health insurance (not just the national plan)

Postby Okayamapiper » Sun 06.14.2009 8:17 pm

Accidents are not covered.
Pre-natal is not covered, but you receive 300,000 yen from the government upon the birth of the child which covers almost all the costs.
Dental is covered.
Private health insurance is not that expensive when compared to rates in the US. I guess this can be attributed to the fact that malpractice suits are extremely rare.
My family is covered under 国民健康保険 (Kokuho). Life insurance companies offer programs for long-term hospital stays, such as 10,000 yen/day with a 1 million yen bonus for cancer. The bonus has to be the most twisted interpretation of "Every cloud has a silver lining", but I guess the extra funds would come in handy.
Cheers,
James
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Re: Japanese health insurance (not just the national plan)

Postby mandypandy275 » Sat 01.02.2010 1:27 pm

Great post, I am also moving to japan as of the 14th and needed some info about medical health care. I am goign for studies so will not be making an income in the start so I guess its a good thing to have it if it'll run form 10 -20 dollars a month, cause its inexpensive.
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