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Medical coverage in Japan

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RE: Medical coverage in Japan

Postby keatonatron » Mon 10.30.2006 9:10 am

Who reads books about medical insurance anyway?
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RE: Medical coverage in Japan

Postby clay » Mon 10.30.2006 9:22 am

keatonatron wrote:
Who reads books about medical insurance anyway?


Considering your tag line, you may want to. :D
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RE: Medical coverage in Japan

Postby Rounin T » Mon 10.30.2006 12:48 pm

I want to contribute.

http://www.nchc.org/facts/Japan.pdf

Because even though books will often lie to you, Internet content can always be trusted. ;)
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RE: Medical coverage in Japan

Postby AJBryant » Mon 10.30.2006 2:47 pm

God, I love this forum. :)


Tony
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RE: Medical coverage in Japan

Postby Mukade » Mon 10.30.2006 9:53 pm

Rounin T wrote:
I want to contribute.

http://www.nchc.org/facts/Japan.pdf

Because even though books will often lie to you, Internet content can always be trusted. ;)


Actually, everything in this article is pretty much on-par with all of my own personal experience.

Although I'm paying a lot each month in insurance fees, I typically pay about 500 to 2000 yen for a doctor's visit. That amount covers the consultation with the doctor, any and all on-site treatment, and even a full compliment of placebos. :|

Even childbirth has cost us only about 100,000 yen. We paid about 400,000 for everything - bed, treatment, birth, etc. - but then immediately got 300,000 back from the government.

This is all a far cry from my experience back in the States, where, even when I was paying around $400 a month for insurance, I had a premium of $500 or so. It was rare for me to exceed $500 in fees during any given doctor's visit, so I was effectively paying for all my medical treatment and for the (rather meaningless) insurance. :@


Having said that, Japanese doctors' bedside manners typically leave something to be desired.

A typical visit to the doctor's in Japan:

Doctor: What do you want?
You: Um, well, I've been feeling bad lately.
Doctor: .......
You: Yeah, so, ah, my throat hurts and I've been running a fever.
Doctor: ..... (writes something on a piece of paper)
You: Uh, okay, so this has been going on for a day or two now, and so I thought I'd come in.
Doctor: Here's a prescription for several different kinds of sugar pills. Go home and get some rest.
You: Geeze, thanks doc.
Doctor: (turns away without a word to get the next patient's chart)
You: (leaves with tail between legs, wondering if that man was really a doctor)
意味がなくてもええねん!
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RE: Medical coverage in Japan

Postby AJBryant » Mon 10.30.2006 10:15 pm

Apparently, my doctor was from Osaka.... ;)

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RE: Medical coverage in Japan

Postby Matsumoto_hideto » Mon 10.30.2006 10:49 pm

keatonatron wrote:
Who reads books about medical insurance anyway?


The book is actually a book about foriegn rights in japan but heathcare was a section under it. I made a mistake when i said 4千円。  I made a mistake. The number i was thinking about was actually somethinging to do with the national pension which is completley different.


As for healthcare the book did say something about total cost of healthcare being 85円 of every 1000円 that someone earns. So its based on income. Would that be a more accurate assumption? I wouldnt know if it is totally true because I dont have a job and dont pay taxes.
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RE: Medical coverage in Japan

Postby Infidel » Tue 10.31.2006 12:51 am

Matsumoto, you should remove all that white space from your sig, it's too big and someone with admin might force a change if you don't volounteer.
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
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RE: Medical coverage in Japan

Postby keatonatron » Tue 10.31.2006 12:58 am

8.5%, sounds about right.
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RE: Medical coverage in Japan

Postby chikara » Tue 10.31.2006 2:41 am

This thread has been interesting reading. I readily admit that, despite posting under a Japanese name, my knowledge of health insurance in Japan is pretty much limited to what I have read on this thread.

All of this discussion about how much it costs seems a bit academic given the OP's situation.

Cyborg Ninja wrote:
......I don't know what's going to happen when the insurance company finds out. ..... I got severe hyperthyroidism, Crohn's disease (and all its fun secondary problems), an appendectomy, psoriasis, and now it seems I have MS too. I'm royally screwed up. I don't want to be limited to working for the government because that's the only place that offers me insurance without asking about preexisting conditions.........


The OP's quest to seek health insurance in Japan seems to be based on two rather tenuous assumptions;

Assumption 1 - Japanese health insurance companies cover you fully for all pre-existing conditions when American health insurance companies don't.

Assumption 2 - A person whose health is "royally screwed" will be issued with a work visa or residency visa by the Japanese government that will enable then to qualify for Japanese health insurance.
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RE: Medical coverage in Japan

Postby Mike Cash » Tue 10.31.2006 6:14 am

chikara wrote:

The OP's quest to seek health insurance in Japan seems to be based on two rather tenuous assumptions;

Assumption 1 - Japanese health insurance companies cover you fully for all pre-existing conditions when American health insurance companies don't.


A certain tiny minority of people aside....health insurance is provided by the national government, not by companies. Despite my hatred of socialism, I have to admit that they actually do a pretty damned good job of providing health care to everyone. Due to mismanagement and whatnot the financing end of it has steadily gone downhill over the years, with premiums going up and copayments being tripled in some cases. But the actual system itself does a commendable job of providing adequate healthcare in a timely and (largely) affordable manner, while allowing patients absolute freedom in their choice of doctors/hospitals.

Another good thing is that these people have no idea what a "deductible" is. Like everything, though, that has a downside, which is that people here go to the doctor for things Americans wouldn't even think of going for.

Assumption 2 - A person whose health is "royally screwed" will be issued with a work visa or residency visa by the Japanese government that will enable then to qualify for Japanese health insurance.


Many types of visa do require a health check. I have no idea if non-contagious diseases would be used as a basis to deny a visa.

And the system wouldn't know or care what a "pre-existing" condition is.
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RE: Medical coverage in Japan

Postby natemb » Tue 10.31.2006 10:32 am

I agree that the healthcare system in Japan is excellent, although it is sometimes can be a bit hard for foreigners to get used to. As Mukade mentioned, there certainly are some communication-impaired doctors here, but I think you find that in any country.

The great thing about the Japanese system is that you generally don't need to make an appointment! You just go to the hospital, check in, tell them which doctor you want (that's right, you don't need a referral to go to the lung doctor if you know it's a lung problem), and wait. Depending on what time you get there and how big the hospital is, you may wait for up to an hour or so, and then you see the doctor.

As for insurance premiums... It seems like I'm the only one on this site who has private insurance here, these are my company's details if anyone's interested:

I don't really know how the whole system works. I imagine my employer pays part, but my monthly premium is only 5,000 yen! I'm pretty sure the premium is not based on my salary, but I make a little over 250,000 for reference. What's more, they pay in full for almost all kinds of visits!! I broke my hand this spring and saw many doctors and did lots of rehab. The total bill was well over 100,000円, and it was payed in full! (although I had to pay for everything first, and the submit the claim)

This is a private international insurance company, based in New Zealand: InterGlobal Insurance. I have the bronze plan (most basic). There are no deductibles (except for dental, which is a 7500円 deductible), but there is an overall limit in the amount they will pay in a year, which could definitely suck if you develop a serious condition.

Edit: Oh, and to relate this a little to the original post, when I first signed up, my company did ask me about pre-existing conditions or major surgeries within the previous two years, so I imagine that makes a difference.
Last edited by natemb on Tue 10.31.2006 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Medical coverage in Japan

Postby keatonatron » Tue 10.31.2006 3:56 pm

natemb wrote:
when I first signed up, my company did ask me about pre-existing conditions or major surgeries within the previous two years, so I imagine that makes a difference.


That's because private companies only exist to make money. The Japanese healthcare system only exists to ensure every citizen is kept healthy.
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RE: Medical coverage in Japan

Postby Cyborg Ninja » Tue 10.31.2006 4:09 pm

Chikara, I don't see why the Japanese government would care if you have preexisting health conditions that aren't contagious (like tuberculosis). Since it's nationwide, I don't think they would ask or could deny you if you qualify under all of the other terms. Small, private companies will most assuredly ask you about preexisting conditions because if they hire you, you'll drive up premiums for everyone. If it's a large company, particularly a job with the government, they can absorb the cost.
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RE: Medical coverage in Japan

Postby chikara » Tue 10.31.2006 9:09 pm

Cyborg Ninja wrote:
Chikara, I don't see why the Japanese government would care if you have preexisting health conditions that aren't contagious (like tuberculosis). Since it's nationwide, I don't think they would ask or could deny you if you qualify under all of the other terms. Small, private companies will most assuredly ask you about preexisting conditions because if they hire you, you'll drive up premiums for everyone. If it's a large company, particularly a job with the government, they can absorb the cost.

I don't know about the Japanese government but I am fairly sure the Australian government would deny you anything other than a holiday visa based on your health problems. We have a taxpayer funded national health insurance system and they will not allow people to enter the country for what amounts to free health care just because they can't get it in their home country.

An acquaintance of mine spent time in Japan as a JET and while there met a Canadian girl who he wanted to bring back to Oz and marry. Unfortunately she was diagnosed with cancer and my understanding is that she could not get a permanent residency visa even if she married an Australian citizen.

Given the restrictions on immigration in Japan it is likely that they take a similar approach.
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