The Public Medical Insurance System
Types of Public Medical Insurance
Health Insurance (kenko hoken, employee’s health insurance)
Employees of private companies enrolled in this health insurance plan may enroll through their employer. Specific plans include “Kyokai Kenpo” and “Kenko Sogo”. Typically, if the individual’s family income does not exceed a fixed value, family members can enroll in that health insurance as dependants.
For people employed by private companies not enrolled in the health insurance plan, they should enroll in National Health Insurance.
National Health Insurance (kokumin kenko hoken)
Self-employed individuals, those who are not dependants in another health insurance plan, and those who have quit their jobs and left their health insurance plan can enroll in National Health Insurance. Enrollment is based by household, so family members sharing a resident record can enroll together. Foreigners living in Japan longer than three months may also enroll.
Older Senior Citizens’ Medical System (koki koreisha iryo seido)
Individuals 75 years of age and older, or those 65 of age and older possessing a certain kind of disability may enroll in this kind of health insurance. This is the only type of individually-based health insurance system, so family members may not enroll as dependants. Foreigners living in Japan longer than three months may also enroll.
Registration and Premiums for National Health Insurance
For company employees, the employer makes arrangements for health insurance, and premiums are paid half by the employer and the other half by the employee. For details, please ask your employer. For National Health Insurance, the head of the household will have to make arrangements and pay premiums. For details, please consult the health insurance and pension department of the ward office in which you have resident registration. After enrolling in the National Health Insurance plan, you will be given a Health Insurance Card. If you show this card when visiting a hospital, you will only have to pay 30% of the total fee (20% for children yet to begin elementary school； charge ratio determined by income and other factors for individuals aged 70 and over, etc.). However, there are certain treatments not covered by this insurance. It is recommended that you check with the hospital beforehand. The amount of the premium is set according to the number of insured individuals in a family, their income, etc.
Health Insurance & Pension Section of each ward office
National Health Insurance Section and Medical Expense and Pension Section website
Japan Pension Service website
Fukuoka City Medical Expense Assistance System
The Medical Expense Assistance System covers part or all of the out-of-pocket medical expenses (typically 30%, 20% for children yet to begin elementary school) paid by an individual.
Subsidy for Medical Care for Children
Covers all out-of-pocket medical expenses. Hospital visits are covered until entrance into elementary school;
hospitalization is covered through elementary school grade 6. From October 2016, outpatient medical expense subsidies will be extended to cover children up to grade 6 elementary school students, and partial out-of-pocket expenses will be required for children aged three up to grade 6 elementary school students.
*The child is eligible for the subsidy until the date reaches 31 March for the first time on or after the day preceeding the child’s 15th birthday.
Take your child’s health insurance card to the Health Insurance & Pension Section of your local ward/branch office, where you can receive a Children’s Medical Certificate. When having a medical examination, present both your child’s health insurance card and Children’s Medical Certificate.
Medical Subsidy for Persons with Severe Disabilities
Covers all out-of-pocket medical expenses except hospitalisation costs at psychiatric hospitals. Eligible persons include those possessing a Physical Disability Certificate (Level 1 or 2), Intellectual Disability Certificate (Level A), or Mental Disability Health and Welfare Certificate (Level 1).
There is an income limit for this subsidy. Additionally, children below the age of three who are yet to begin elementary school qualify for the Subsidy for Medical Care for Children and are thus ineligible for this subsidy.
However, if any of the above disability levels apply to your child, please make this clear when applying for the Children’s Medical Certificate.
This Medical Certificates is renewed every year in November. When having a medical examination, be sure to present this Medical Certificate along with your health insurance card.
Medical Subsidy for Single-Parent Families
Motherless or fatherless households and children without parents are eligible for this subsidy.
This subsidy covers only the cost for medical care that exceeds the minimum for out-of-pocket medical expenses.
There is an income limit for this subsidy. Additionally, children become ineligible for the subsidy from April 1 of the year beginning from the day before their 18th birthday.
This Medical Certificates is renewed every year in October. Renewal applications should be made every August.
When having a medical examination, be sure to present this Medical Certificate along with your health insurance card.
For more detailed information, please consult the Health Insurance & Pension Section of your local ward/branch office.