Comments on: Before Obamacare: Japan’s national healthcare system saves some for private insurers http://blog.japantimes.co.jp/yen-for-living/before-obamacare-japans-national-healthcare-system-saves-some-for-private-insurers/ How to make, save and spend money in Japan. Wed, 18 Feb 2015 03:29:48 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 By: Philip http://blog.japantimes.co.jp/yen-for-living/before-obamacare-japans-national-healthcare-system-saves-some-for-private-insurers/comment-page-1/#comment-10748 Sun, 08 Aug 2010 22:30:34 +0000 http://blog.japantimes.co.jp/yen-for-living/?p=1052#comment-10748 Legally, national health insurance and national pensions are mandatory for everyone who lives in Japan, but like many legally mandatory things in Japan there are no punitive measures for non-compliance, and in practice it’s pretty much up to the bureaucrat handling the case to decide. Non-Japanese, especially those who are obviously not going to be here for the long haul, have always been given a pass. That’s why the idea of making visa approvals dependent on enrollment can’t work–the government has never been consistent before. And as I said in the post, if they did the private insurance industry, especially America’s, would be up in arms.

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By: CK http://blog.japantimes.co.jp/yen-for-living/before-obamacare-japans-national-healthcare-system-saves-some-for-private-insurers/comment-page-1/#comment-10729 Sun, 08 Aug 2010 18:03:21 +0000 http://blog.japantimes.co.jp/yen-for-living/?p=1052#comment-10729 Actually, Philip, National health insurance is not mandatory in Japan. Even when you go to get your visa renewed, the immigration department “suggest” that you enrol in health insurance. It’s not enforced.
I know many English teachers who don’t even have health insurance. Possibly the 2 reasons for that are 1) ignorance is bliss (until they get really sick/need to see a doctor). 2) The insurance tax/premium is double of what they would pay for health insurance in their home country.

Most English schools hire teachers under a certain number of hours (30 I think), so the teachers are considered part-time and the employer doesn’t need to fork out for their health insurance (shakai hoken).

The 2-year back pay with the (kokumin kenko hoken) is ridiculous. Also, calculating your tax/bill on your previous year’s income is stupid and unfair. In my case, I was working and getting a reasonable pay for a couple of years and then I lost my job without warning. My insurance bill then arrives and it’s even more than my previous year’s bills. A smarter way would be to work it out as you earn it (PAYE), like most taxes. Then you can pay it while you still have the money and the ability to pay it. Yeah sure, my bill for next year will be a lot less, but what about now that I don’t have a job?

Look, I think health care is really important, and probably should be mandatory. People get sick sometime or other. However, I think they need to make it fair and reasonable for everyone. I don’t understand why they have 2 types of health insurance in Japan. It just makes it more confusing.

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By: Mark http://blog.japantimes.co.jp/yen-for-living/before-obamacare-japans-national-healthcare-system-saves-some-for-private-insurers/comment-page-1/#comment-7942 Sun, 04 Jul 2010 14:47:00 +0000 http://blog.japantimes.co.jp/yen-for-living/?p=1052#comment-7942 Hey John you look wise and rich man.Think a little for non English native speakers living in Japan. What job are going to do, or can they find one???
Make a simple calculation:
income taxes + resident taxes + Eating + Transport + Lights + Water + Gas + Mobile phone + (Maybe members to be supported) + NHK Tax = Jump in front of the train better?????

It’s impossible to survive…
Come on man start walking on the ground.

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By: John Wocher http://blog.japantimes.co.jp/yen-for-living/before-obamacare-japans-national-healthcare-system-saves-some-for-private-insurers/comment-page-1/#comment-2669 Mon, 05 Apr 2010 01:28:41 +0000 http://blog.japantimes.co.jp/yen-for-living/?p=1052#comment-2669 With more than 110,000 persones here illegally, and thousands more permitted to overstay their visa, the vast majority of these persons are here without healthcare coverage. Many persons here legally and self employed do not enroll and are also not covered. When seriously ill, they cannot pay their hospital bills. Enrollment needs to be mandatory, and for non Japanese citizens, the visa should be revoked if they choose not to enroll in the mandatory health insurance system, and they need to be deported for failure to obey the law. As for those here illegally, what can I say? Either make them legal and enroll them or deport them. The burden on hospitals is excessive when these huge debts are not paid.
Kamogawan

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By: Philip http://blog.japantimes.co.jp/yen-for-living/before-obamacare-japans-national-healthcare-system-saves-some-for-private-insurers/comment-page-1/#comment-2605 Fri, 02 Apr 2010 07:42:40 +0000 http://blog.japantimes.co.jp/yen-for-living/?p=1052#comment-2605 National insurance in Japan is mandatory, and if you were a full-time employee for a company registered in Japan, by law they should have enrolled you in Shakai Hoken. I myself worked for a company when I first came to Japan who did not enroll me in Shakai Hoken (many companies who hire foreign workers don’t bother, for obvious reasons, and the government seems to look the other way), so I enrolled myself in Kokumin Hoken, which is paid completely by the person enrolled. With Shakai Hoken the employer pays part. You can enroll now in Kokumin Hoken and the government will not make you pay retroactively for the simple reason that you are only covered when you start paying. However, when you enroll for Kokumin Hoken they may ask you to sign up for the national pension system, which is a bit more complicated. Depending on how long you’ve lived here and whether or not your home country has a reciprocity agreement on national pensions with the Japanese government, you may not have to pay retroactively. Obviously, it’s all a lot fuzzier than it should be.

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By: MfGrape http://blog.japantimes.co.jp/yen-for-living/before-obamacare-japans-national-healthcare-system-saves-some-for-private-insurers/comment-page-1/#comment-2600 Thu, 01 Apr 2010 21:06:44 +0000 http://blog.japantimes.co.jp/yen-for-living/?p=1052#comment-2600 While Kokumin Kenko Hoken is not Universal, I would like to know why it is not mandatory? By this, I mean, why doesn’t the government require all businesses to enroll their employees in this system since it is similar to an additional tax, rather than making a rule that has no teeth? It seems as though this is part of Japan’s fiscal problem when it comes to managing its health care system. The only thing keeping me from signing up for this insurance -rather than the sketchy Ones- is the back pay for the time when I was not enrolled and entirely unfamiliar with the health care industry, because I assumed that my company was being honest with me by enrolling us in what I now know amounts to travelers insurance.

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By: Miko http://blog.japantimes.co.jp/yen-for-living/before-obamacare-japans-national-healthcare-system-saves-some-for-private-insurers/comment-page-1/#comment-2504 Sat, 27 Mar 2010 23:41:57 +0000 http://blog.japantimes.co.jp/yen-for-living/?p=1052#comment-2504 Thank you very much for clearing this up. I’ve been worrying for a while about whether to buy private insurance, and now I’ve decided not to bother. The ads targeting middle-aged women are especially persuasive (“Women are strong, but not immortal. Think about what would happen to your children if you came down with …” followed by a loooong list of diseases and cancers that afflict women, even though many of them are not common in Japan.)

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