Do I Need Travel Insurance For Japan?

We recommend that you purchase travel insurance before visiting Japan. Make sure your insurance covers not only medical expenses, but also lost luggage, canceled hotel and aircraft tickets, and damaged or stolen equipment (although theft in Japan is extremely rare, it does occasionally happen).

Do I need travel insurance to go to Japan?

Many people who travel to Japan for business or pleasure ask if travel insurance is required. Travelers from foreign countries must obtain a visa before entering Japan, and medical travel insurance is essential. While no precise sum is required, the insurance must cover them for the duration of their vacation. While meeting the minimum entry requirements is required, we recommend that travelers to Japan acquire a travel insurance plan that extends beyond COVID-19 issues.

Many of our clients who have traveled to Japan say that having travel insurance gave them peace of mind and, in rare occasions, coverage when things went wrong. Anyone who has flown before understands the dangers of missing connecting flights or trying to locate lost luggage. For many passengers, going to Japan is not a quick flight, so you can understand how damaging even a minor delay or inconvenience can be to your trip. As a result, we recommend purchasing Japan travel insurance. Protecting your investment, your health, and your possessions from the unexpected is an excellent approach to reduce stress and increase enjoyment.

While late flights, misplaced luggage, and other annoyances can cause your trip to be disrupted, one of the biggest reasons to purchase travel insurance is to be able to show that you have health coverage if you become ill or injured while in Japan. Many hospitals are not used to providing care for foreign tourists, especially when they are unsure how they will be reimbursed, because Japan’s national health care system is designed to serve its inhabitants first. As a result, in some circumstances, visitors have been denied care. As a result, we advise everyone traveling to Japan to purchase comprehensive travel health insurance.

Which types of insurance are required in Japan?

In Japan, the National Health Insurance (NHI) system is depending on where you live. This mandatory system compels all residents to be enrolled in public medical insurance in order to access medical treatment with ease. A third of Japan’s population did not have health insurance until recently, and this became a social concern.

When the National Health Insurance Act was passed in 1958, however, that changed. With an insurance card, anyone can now obtain treatments at the same cost whenever and wherever they want in Japan.

The World Health Organization named Japan’s insurance system the finest medical insurance system in the world in 2000. (WHO). This world-class strategy helps one of the world’s most populous countries achieve one of the highest life expectancy rates.

National Health Insurance (NHI) and Social Insurance are the two types of health insurance in Japan (SI). Simply said, SI is for salaried employees in businesses, whereas NHI is for anyone who is not covered by employment insurance. Furthermore, these insurances are not only available to Japanese citizens. Enrollment is open to non-Japanese residents, with the exception of those traveling on a tourist visa.

So, when and who can enroll in which insurance? Let’s look at the enrollment requirements, qualities, and application process in more detail.

Is it illegal to not have health insurance in Japan?

In Japan, health insurance is an obnoxious necessity. There is no avoiding the system, whether you like it or not. Everyone over the age of 20 in Japan is required to obtain health insurance.

It is illegal to not enroll in the national health plan because it is mandated. If you need to see a doctor or a hospital during your stay and don’t have your health insurance card, you will be turned away or charged full price for the services and medication you get.

The system can be perplexing, particularly for individuals who have recently arrived in the country and are employed full-time. In this context, health insurance is paid in conjunction with pensions and employment insurance as part of shakai hoken (), or social insurance benefits. The pension plan is an important component to understand if you want to understand the system as a whole. Fortunately, GaijinPot provides a three-part guide to the Japanese pension system.

Because hospitals in my native country of the United Kingdom operate differently, it took me some time to figure out exactly what I was meant to pay (and how to do so) and what benefits I was entitled to once I joined the system. As a result, you’re reading this right now — and hopefully bookmarking and sharing it with others who might have similar questions.

We’ll try to answer any questions new or old Japanese residents might have regarding Japanese national health care in this two-part introduction to understanding the Japanese health insurance system.

Does American health insurance work in Japan?

This section will tell you everything you need to know about how private health insurance works in Japan. The first thing to keep in mind is that in Japan, the distinctions between public and private health insurance coverage are far smaller than in many other Asian and Western countries. To begin with, in Japan, there is no such thing as a private hospital. Private insurance does not provide significantly additional coverage or a significant advantage when it comes to finding a doctor. However, both Japanese citizens and foreigners in Japan continue to use private health insurance.

In Japan, the most common type of private health insurance is for persons who have long-term illnesses or foreigners who are just staying for a few months.

Private insurance is known in Japanese as shiteki (private insurance) or ryokou hoken (travel insurance).

Do you Need Health Insurance in Japan?

You certainly do. In Japan, health insurance is required, and it can be obtained through the public or private healthcare systems. Although private health insurance is becoming more popular in Japan, it is still not as widely used as public healthcare. In truth, private health insurance is primarily used by tourists and foreigners who are only in Japan for a few months. In Japan, health insurance is required, and many hospitals and clinics will not accept an international healthcare plan.

Benefits of Private Health Insurance in Japan

There are a few advantages to having private health insurance coverage in Japan. Some types of health insurance policies, for example, cover the 30% co-pays that are often the responsibility of the individual while utilizing public health insurance. As a result, some Japanese people utilize private health insurance to augment what their public health insurance plan does not cover.

What does Private Health Insurance Cover?

Similarly, for those with major medical issues, private health insurance may be the best option. Pre-existing conditions must be covered by Japan’s public healthcare system, however this does not prevent the costs from mounting over time. Expats who frequently visit the hospital or who require major surgery may find that having private insurance cover their normal 30% payment saves them a significant amount of money. For expats who expect to utilize their health insurance overseas on a regular basis, private health insurance may include more comprehensive coverage.

It’s also important to remember that, while Japanese public health insurance is comprehensive, it doesn’t cover everything. As a result, obtaining private insurance is an excellent option if you want/need very extensive, comprehensive medical coverage.

Health Insurance Cost

What is the cost of private health insurance? In Japan, private health insurance will cost you more, as you might imagine. In Japan, the average monthly cost of health insurance is around 35–40,000 JPY (330–370 USD). Your medical expenditures will not change, and you can use the lump sum payment from your private insurance to cover the 30% that is usually left over after public health insurance coverage.

Always bring your health card with you while seeking medical attention. If you don’t, you’ll be responsible for paying 30% of your medical bills.

What is travel insurance used for?

Travel insurance is designed to protect you against potential hazards and financial losses while you’re on the road. The dangers range from simple annoyances like missed flight connections and delayed luggage to more significant problems like injuries or serious sickness.

How do I get insurance in Japan?

National Health Insurance (NHI) is for persons under the age of 75 who are unemployed, self-employed (including contractors), or retired, as well as dependant family members of those previously mentioned.

The NHI, like the EHI, pays for 70% of your hospital expenditures. To apply, go to your local City Office or Ward Office’s Residential Affairs Division. The premium is determined by your age and prior year’s earnings.

What is Japanese compulsory insurance?

This government-mandated insurance, also referred to as JCI (Japanese Compulsory Insurance), covers your legal obligation (duty) to someone hurt or killed in an accident caused by you or anyone driving your car with your permission. It covers up to 1,200,000 per person for most medical expenses, as well as up to $30,000,000 per person for a fatal accident and up to $40,000,000 per person for someone who is permanently crippled as a result of the accident.

Can foreigners get health insurance in Japan?

In general, health care is provided free of charge to Japanese nationals, expatriates, and foreigners in Japan. In Japan, medical treatment is covered under the government’s universal health care system. All nationals, as well as non-Japanese citizens staying in Japan for more than a year, can use this method. Students can enroll in the National Health Insurance System or a health care association plan supplied by their workplace to receive health care in Japan. If they enroll through their employment, their insurance contributions will be automatically withdrawn from their pay; if not, they must remember to pay the NHI tax on a regular basis. Self-employed and jobless individuals must register for the National Health Insurance program at their local government office. Their NHI tax is depending on their income.

In Japan, the health-care system provides free screenings for certain ailments, as well as control of infectious diseases and prenatal care. In Japan’s health-care system, the patient has responsibility for 30% of the medical costs, with the government covering the other 70%.

Why is Japanese healthcare so cheap?

The Japanese visit the doctor three times more frequently than Americans. They can see any specialist they want because there are no gatekeepers.

On average, Japanese patients stay in the hospital for significantly longer than Americans. They are big fans of technologies like magnetic resonance imaging and have roughly twice as many scans per capita as Americans. In the United States, a neck scan can cost up to $1,200.

Japan’s leading health economist, Professor Ikegami Naoki, discusses how the country maintains MRIs affordable.

“In 2002, the government said that we were overpaying for MRIs. So, in order to stay inside the overall budget, we’ll reduce them by 35% “Ikegami explains.

This is how Japan manages to keep its prices so cheap. The Japanese Ministry of Health has a strict grip on the cost of health care, down to the slightest detail. Every two years, the health-care business and the ministry of health come to an agreement on a set price for each treatment and drug.

This allows the average Japanese family to pay roughly $280 per month in premiums, which is significantly less than what Americans pay. And at least half of that is covered by Japan’s employers. You keep your health insurance even if you lose your work.

Insurers in Japan are far more tolerant than their counterparts in the United States. They can’t, for one thing, refute a claim. They also have to cover everyone.