Insurance in Japan
It is compulsory to get National Health Insurance,
For people staying over 3 months in Japan on a visa and are not working full-time.
(For people staying for shorter periods, it is highly recommended to get overseas travel insurance before you arrive in Japan; to avoid unnecessary stress if you get into an accident).
What you should know (For staying over 3 months)
There are two major types of insurance in Japan.
Health Insurance (健康保険,けんこうほけん)
This is managed and paid by your employer if you are working full-time.
National Health insurance (国民健康保険, こくみんけんこうほけん)
This is for individuals who are not working full-time in Japan and is managed by the government.
The premiums (what you pay monthly) are determined by your income and area you live in, so don't worry, for students your premiums will generally be very low. (Approximately 1,500 Japanese Yen, equivalent to 14 USD a month).
It is required by law to enroll in one. (If staying over 3 months).
Some schools will offer additional insurance to cover the remaining 30% not covered by National Health Insurance. This covers any accidents involving travelling to/from school, or during school.
What to do
For people staying over 3 months with a visa, you must enroll within 2 weeks of being eligible (arriving in Japan or changing address to a new city ward).
Therefore, it is highly recommended to enroll at the same time you go to the bureau closest to you when get your foreigner's registration card.
You can pay your premiums for National Health Insurance monthly at convenience stores around Japan (they are on every corner).
Make sure you bring your NHI card when going to medical appointments. If you do not, you will need to pay for your appointment in full and apply to get reimbursed, which takes a few months.
Why enroll? 1) You will only be required to pay 30% of your medical bills, 2) You will be charged higher premiums and pay backments for the duration you did not pay. (You may be required to pay back years of insurance if you get caught avoiding it). and 3) It's the law.
(Correct answer is all of the above).
Please note that the National Health Insurance does not cover the following:
- Plastic surgery
- Accidents involving drunkenness.
It does cover high medical costs associated with medical surgery and hospitalization, general apointments, even birth allowances.
If you are staying over 3 months in Japan on a visa and are not employed full-time in Japan, you should enroll in National Health Insurance the same day you apply for your residence card (Zairyu Card).
(It is required by law to enroll for public health insurance).
If staying under 3 months, it is highly recommended to get overseas medical insurance before you arrive in Japan.
For further information, please see Japan Health Info (a non-profit organization).
All students who apply through us will be reminded to get insurance, so you can stay in Japan with peace of mind.
(If you are yet to apply to a course, please enquire now).