I guess it’s nice to have an alter ego space to write things down without having to worry much about format – eventually I suspect I’ll be transferring some of this material over to my real site. In the mean time, some ramblings:

I visited the local municipal office yesterday to see if I qualified for national health insurance (and also out of curiosity about how the sytem works, given my understanding of how health insurance works in the United States). Despite its complexity, it boils down to something along these lines:

1. Take your household income
2. Subtract expenses associated with basic living needs (insurance. transportation, water and electricity bills)
3. Subtract a baseline allowance of 330,000 yen
4. If you’re under 40 (as I am), multiply that result by 5.51%. Above the age of 40, add in another 0.90%.
5. Add in some basic fees amounting to 40,200 yen per covered individual.

In short, about 6% of your income would be taken towards the national health insurance system, if and only if you don’t have employer-provided healthcare.

Some other interesting tidbits:

1. If you’re not on employer-provided healthcare, you’re either on national healthcare or on no healthcare at all. This is somewhat similar to the situation in Massachusetts.

2. General co-pay is about 30% up to 80,100 yen unless the covered individual is between the ages of 0 and high-school (18?) in which case there is no co-pay for the individual. If medical bills exceed 267,000 yen, co-pay adds 1% of the amount above that value.

3. Each hospital meal cost co-pay is 260 yen.

4. National health insurance pays for 420,000 yen for each child born, 70,000 yen for a death.

The paperwork for it is going to take longer than it’s worth for my stay in Japan this time around, so I’ll forgo it, but it was interesting to find out more about the system here in Japan.


~ by allthenittygritty on December 22, 2012.

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