[Question]I found that I am pregnant. But I am currently unemployed and don’t seem to be able to afford the cost of childbirth. Can I get any help?I’m subscribing to National Health Insurance scheme.

Normal pregnancies/child deliveries are not classified as an illness, and are thus not covered by health insurance. Expectant mothers must pay a lump sum up front at the hospital when they give birth; if you simply can’t afford it, consult with your local municipal office.

①Lump-Sum Allowance for Childbirth: those covered by National Health Insurance are eligible to receive approximately 420,000 yen. Apply at the National Health Insurance Division.

Direct Payment (Receiving Agent) System: As a general rule, this system allows the insured person to pay the medical institution directly for childbirth costs not exceeding 420,000 yen, eliminating the need to prepare a lump sum up front. Apply at the National Health Insurance Division.

Child Birth Support : those whose income is below a certain threshold are eligible for this system, in which expectant mothers can receive financial assistance if they give birth at designated facilities. Apply at the Welfare Department or Health and Welfare Center in your municipality.