Japan Medical Insurance
Health insurance is a major concern for those working and living in Japan. It is compulsory to be enrolled in a Japanese insurance program if you are a resident of Japan. The two main categories of health insurance are referred to as Kenko-Hoken (Social Insurance) and Kokumin-Kenko-Hoken (National Health Insurance). National health insurance is generally reserved for self-employed people and students, where as social insurance is normally for corporate employees. Foreign residents tend to favour the national health insurance. The premiums are linked to an individual's taxable income and calculated from the individual's tax filing from the previous year. Additional categories include Kyosai Kumiai (Mutual Aid Associations) which cover the majority of public service and private school employees. Japanese insurance requires you to pay approximately 30% of the medical expenses incurred.
The majority of expatriates in Japan decide to purchase Japan expat health insurance policies offered by international insurance companies or insurance companies from their home country. There are a number of key points to be aware of if you are a foreigner living in Japan:
- If you intend to live in Japan for one year or longer health insurance is mandatory
- Foreigners are not automatically covered by national health insurance
The first year's premium of your national health insurance will be low as it is based on your previous year's income. Be aware that the premium will rise steeply once you have been working in Japan for a year.