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Updated 2 weeks ago

Japan’s health system is well-known for its efficiency and modernity. There are many clinics in the country, with most doctors and institutions specialising in a particular field of medicine rather than being general practitioners. 

Public health insurance in Japan comes in two main types: National Health Insurance (Kokumin Kenko Hoken), open to those working or not working, and employee Social Insurance (Shakai Kenko Hoken), open only to employees of a company.

National health insurance in Japan

National health insurance covers up to 70% of the costs related to health. The remaining 30% is borne by the beneficiaries. Payments (made on a monthly basis) for this insurance plan depend on the previous year’s salary.

The easiest way to pay your insurance is to go to a konbini (24/24 supermarket). Your local town hall sends a bill which details the monthly amount to be paid. The konbini employee will then stamp the slip corresponding to the payment of the month.

 Good to know:

National health insurance is available to anyone living in Japan, including those who do not work.

Employee social insurance in Japan covers up to 80% of all health costs. The remaining 20% ​​is the responsibility of the beneficiaries. Payments are, however, made half by the employer and half by the employee. The employee's share is automatically deducted from their salary.

Payments are based on income (usually amounting to around 10% of income). This insurance covers not only the employee but also any dependents (provided that the dependent does not earn more than ¥ 1,300,000 per year) to cover up to 70% of the health costs.

Private health insurance in Japan

You can also take out private health insurance that will cover the part not covered by Japanese health insurance. 

There are many insurance companies to choose from in Japan, according to your needs and budget. Some of the leading health insurance providers are:

Feel free to contact them and request a free quote before making up your mind.

Registering for health insurance in Japan

Registration for national health insurance is done at your local town hall. When you arrive in Japan, you can simply go there to complete the simple registration process - you will need to bring your residence card. If you benefit from employee social insurance, your employer can give you a document that you will then send to the town hall. The company will then register you as being covered by employee insurance. 

 Important:

If you move, you will need to apply for a new insurance card from the city hall of your new place of residence.

 Useful link:

Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan

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