Public Medical Insurance Policy

◎ Public Medical Insurance Policy

There are two types in Japan; one is the employee’s health insurance that is joined through an employer (Kenko Hoken), the other is the national health insurance (Kokumin Kenko Hoken).

National Health Insurance (NHI, Kokumin Kenko Hoken)
All international residents living in Japan for periods of over three months are required to be covered by one of the national public medical insurance programs. However, the NHI program does not provide full coverage against death, accidents, loss, or fire, or full damages compensation. It is therefore necessary to enroll in additional insurance programs.
Those with a “Temporary Visitor Visa” or a “Student Visa (with a 3-month period of stay)” will not be eligible for the NHI, and are highly encouraged to buy a travel insurance policy (or other similar policy) before coming to Japan.

(1) Required Items
① Passport and Residence Card (or Alien Registration Card)
② An application form (Kokumin Kenko Hoken Hihokensha Shikaku Idoutodoke)
③ A debit authorization form (optional)
NOTE: Additional documents may be required.

(2) Method of Use
Once enrolled, subscribers will receive a health insurance card. When going to a hospital or clinic, subscribers only need to pay 30% of the expenses upon presentation of the insurance card at the reception desk prior to treatment.
Please be aware that NHI cannot be used for some treatments including normal pregnancy/ childbirth, cosmetic surgery, yearly check-ups, vaccinations, orthodontic treatment, illness or injury caused by fighting or other willful misconduct.
It is against the law to lend, borrow, buy or sell the health insurance card and such activities are subject to punishment.
This insurance is valid throughout Japan, so do not forget to take the card with you on domestic trips.

(3) Health Insurance Premium and Method of Payment
Calculation of the annual premium is based on the subscriber’s previous year’s income in Japan. The annual premium is paid in ten monthly installments from June to March. Also, be aware that a delinquency charge will be added for overdue payments.
The method of payment is ① automatic withdrawal from a bank or a Japan Post Bank (Yucho Bank) account (application necessary) , or ② manual payment with the payment slip at the bank, Japan Post Bank, the City/Ward Office, or convenience stores.
* Once the insurance premium is set, it does not change no matter how many times a policy holder receives medical treatment during the year.

(4) Receiving Medical Treatment without an Insurance Card
Subscribers who forget to bring the card when receiving medical treatment must pay the entire amount of the bill. However, they can file for a reimbursement later by taking the receipt, statement, householder’s bankbook and health insurance card to the City/Ward Office. After processing the claim, the City/Ward Office will reimburse 70% of the medical expenses.

(5) Change of Address
Subscribers must complete the following procedures within 14 days of moving.
・ In case of moving to a different ward within same city
Submit the old insurance card to their new ward office to get a new one.
・ In case of moving to new city from another city
Clear the balance with the office in the city subscribers were leaving and re-enroll NHI at the ward office of their new residence.

(6) Health Insurance Regulations
・ Expired health insurance cards cannot be used. Ask the City/Ward Office to issue a new card.
・ Photocopied health insurance cards are not accepted.
・ If policy holders enroll in employee’s health insurance, they must return their cards to the City/ Ward Office.