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National Health Insurance question

Noh Cloo

28 Sep 2003

I would like to know what is the best health insurance to apply for in Japan? I've heard about the National Health Insurance is good for gaijins that plan on living in Japan for more than a year, which me and my wife plan on doing. I'll be teaching English for the time being, but it's the first job I've had in over a year. Can I still apply for this type of insurance? Any advice is duly noted.

I don't know how you sign up, I was signed up through my employer (you might want to ask yours, come to think of it...) and so had no choice in the matter. You might want to look into some other types as well, as the National Health Insurance scheme is run by the governement and so they can adjust premiums whenever they feel like it. On top of that there is nothing short of un-enrolling that you can do about it. You premium is not based on your actual health condition(s) nor how much of a deductible you want to pay, it is whatever the government office decides you should be liable for. Recently, because of the bad economy, they decided that people should carry a larger burden of their health costs. While I pay less for insurance per month now, I also can expect to pay a higher % of total if I am ever really sick.

But you are right, it might be what you need. It is a fairly simple system. There are lots of do-it-yourself (DIY) insurance companies out there as of late for everything from car insurance to unemployment insurance. I don't know how the more complex schemes work for foreigners though, Good luck.
Thanks for the advice Mandylion. I will take your advice into consideration. It's funny, my sister-in-law is the one working for. She's my boss..LOL.. Once again thanks.

Monthly premium

Hey! one quick question...what percentage of one's in-hand pay does the monthly insurance premium form in Japan?
I was surprised to hear the ward office people telling me that the monthly premium can be as high as 10% of my monthly in-hand pay!!!!! is that true??

For example, if my pay is about 500,000 yen per month, can be monthly premium be as high as 50,000 yen????
The first year you make out like a bandit, since premiums are based on your previous year's earnings. That would be "zero" (the earnings, not the premiums).

Be prepared for a sharp jump as you enter your second year.
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