Public insurance

[Question] I’m a company employee. Is it compulsory to enroll in Employee Health Insurance?

[Answer]
Yes, if you are eligible, you are required to join one. Irrespective of nationality, gender, or wage level, those working for a “covered establishment” are to be enrolled in Employee Health Insurance (EHI). For details, please refer to Japan Health Insurance Association HP.

[Question]Are foreigners eligible for National Health Insurance?

[Answer]
According to the National Health Insurance Law, people who are not eligible to enroll in NHI include:

  1. Those who are covered by other public health insurance programs
  2. Those who are receiving public assistance from the Welfare Program
  3. Non-Japanese nationals (Article 1 Section 2 Enforcement Regulations to National Health Insurance) who meet the following conditions:
    • Those who are staying in Japan without resident status
    • Those who are not listed in the Resident Registration Card system (Foreign nationals staying in Japan with “Entertainer,” “Technical Intern,””Dependent,” or “Designated Activities” status who are granted a period of residence shorter than three months may be enrolled in the NHI if their documentary evidence show that they are going to stay in Japan for over three months.)
    • Those with “Designated Activities” resident status who came to Japan with an aim to get medical treatment or to care for those who come to Japan for medical treatment
    • Those who come from a country with which Japan signed a bilateral Social Security Agreement that covers medical insurance and who are insured by public health insurance back home
Although people with “Diplomacy” or “Official” status are excluded from the obligation of Resident Registration, those staying with “Official” status are covered by the NHI if their period of residence is three months or longer.

[Question] I can’t afford my National Health Insurance payments. What should I do?

[Answer]
If you simply cannot afford your insurance fees, consult with the National Health Insurance division at your local municipality office. If you have justifiable reasons designated by ordinance or policy, it is possible to apply for a waiver or postponement of payment.

[Question] I’m a long term resident in Japan. I became ill during a short stay in my country. Does my National Health Insurance cover the medical expenses overseas?

[Answer]
It is possible to claim National Health Insurance for medical treatment received abroad. There are, however, exceptions, such as the below:

1)Treatments that are not covered by National Health Insurance even inside Japan

2) When the insured traveled abroad for the purpose of receiving medical care

For details, please ask at National Health Insurance section of you city.