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National Health Insurance

Japan has a national health-insurance program to lessen the cost of medical expenses borne by the individual. All international students who live in Japan for three months or longer are required to enroll in National Health Insurance. If you have not yet enrolled, please complete the enrollment procedures detailed here immediately. If you live in Chofu City, you can complete these procedures at the Insurance and Pension Section on the second floor of Chofu City Hall. Please note that as of April 2010, those applying for the change or extension of a status of residence at the Immigration Bureau will be asked to show proof of enrollment in the National Health Insurance scheme (showing a valid health insurance card).

Enrollment Procedures

To enroll in the National Health Insurance scheme, you must take documents showing the length of your status of residence (three months or longer) and your Residence Card to your local municipal office and complete the designated procedures. You will then be issued a National Health Insurance card.

If you did not pay any Japanese taxes in the fiscal year prior to your enrollment for the reason that you did not reside in Japan, you will be asked to pay lower premiums and should complete the forms necessary to receive this discount, which is called a “Gengaku Kan-i Shinsei.” If an application for the reduced rate for non-taxpayers is not filed, the basic insurance premiums will be about ¥30,000. To complete these procedures, you will need your student ID card and student registration certificate.

In addition, if your address, name, or head of household change due to reasons such as moving home or marriage, please notify the National Health Insurance section of your local municipal office of the change within 14 days. To complete notification procedures, you must have your health-insurance card and your Residence Card.

Insurance Premiums

Members of the National Health Insurance scheme must pay insurance premiums, which vary slightly with each municipality. Annual premiums for those who have not paid Japanese tax and who apply for the “Gengaku Kan-i Shinsei” are around ¥10,000 (¥12,000 in the case of Chofu City) and can be paid in monthly installments or in a lump-sum.

Medical Benefits

If you receive basic medical treatment for an illness or injury or dental treatment and are enrolled in the National Health Insurance scheme, your municipality covers 70% of your medical expenses, leaving 30% to be paid by the insurance scheme member. Please note that treatments using specialized techniques may not be covered by this health insurance.

High Medical Expense Benefit

If you are treated at a given medical institution in a given month and the personally borne expense for the treatment was over ¥35,400, as a rule, the municipality will reimburse you for the excess.

Lump-Sum Childbirth Benefit

When a National Health Insurance member or the spouse of a member gives birth, a lump-sum childbirth benefit is provided. In addition, while not a part of the National Health Insurance program, there are other subsidy programs related to pregnancy and childbirth for low-income households. Please consult the administrative section in charge of National Health Insurance at your local municipal office.

Procedures to Be Completed at the Municipal Office Immediately After Entering Japan or Moving to a New Address and Flow of Procedures for Residence Card and National Health Insurance Membership

  1. Entrance to Japan or change of address
  2. Complete Resident Registration. If you have moved to a new address, complete address change procedures.
  3. Enroll in National Health Insurance. If you have not paid taxes in Japan during the preceding fiscal year, complete the “Gengaku Kan-i Shinsei.” (If you have moved to a new address, return your old health insurance card to the municipal office responsible for the area of your former residence.)

Related Link

Guidance - Chofu City homepage of the national health insurance program for foreigners

Created: March 31, 2010 / Last modified:November 26, 2014