The Japanese Healthcare system is considered Universal since it’s suppose to covers everyone in Japan. So anyone living in Japan including myself even as a foreigner have to pay into the system. Yes, there are exceptions to this and the Healthcare System in Japan is not perfect, don’t think it is, but I wanted to highlight the general experience for most Japanese people as well as my experience as a foreigner living in Japan on the Japan Healthcare system.
So, Japanese Insurance covers 70-90% of all necessary doctor visits. And one of the things I appreciate about the Japanese healthcare system is that you don’t need to pay the full amount of the medical bill up front and then later fill out paperwork to a claim a refund from your healthcare provider. Perfect for someone like me who absolutely hates paperwork.
All you need to do is show your healthcare card at the hospital or clinic when you arrive. They will automatically calculate the amount you need to pay and you are good to go! And to be honest, it’s surprisingly cheap...which I’ll get into the actual costs soon. Again, people generally pay about 30% of the total hospital bill, but it can be reduced down to 10% for other reasons.
So, Your monthly Healthcare insurance fee varies depending on your age, income, type of work and area you live. And there are 3 main types of healthcare systems in Japan 1. For Company employees, 2. For civil servants, teacher and public works and 3rd is a National insurance for everyone else.
They are all pretty similar in coverage, but if you’re an employee of a company, the company is required to pay half of your monthly insurance fee. Which is a great for most Japanese.
Another perk of being on the company health care system is that they commonly offer FREE Annual Health Check-ups. It’s funny though because health examines becomes a yearly talking point for many Japanese employees as many companies schedule it the same time every year. Employees ask each other if they’ve taken it yet. Or talk about having to drink barium for the test, which gives a white stool. Or some complain that they don’t have time to take it since they are so busy with work. Regardless, you know it’s coming since HR will spam employees to schedule their health exam.
The basic annual health examination is called Kenko Shindan. Again, it’s free for company employees. The exam check things like your eye sight, hearing, blood, Chest X-ray, urinalysis, etc.
There’s even more of comprehensive health examination and it’s called Ningen Dock. These additional tests including things like Respiratory, Stool Tests, Abdominal ultrasound, more detailed bloodwork, etc. What’s nice is that when your over 35 years old the company insurance covers this for FREE as well.
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