While in Japan, you will sometimes need to show your Residence Card (or Alien Registration Certificate) and/or National Health Insurance Card as a means of personal identification (e.g., to open a bank account or apply for a mobile phone). Once your address is fixed, please visit your nearest public office to conduct the necessary procedures.
Foreigners who plan to stay in Japan for more than three months are required to enroll in Japan's public medical insurance program.
However, please note that National Health Insurance does not offer compensation in the event of death, accident, loss, fire or compensation for damages. This is why you are also encouraged to enroll in other types of insurance to cover these eventualities. For details, please check the Accident Insurance, Student Mutual Benefit, and Personal Liability Insurance page.
If your residency status is Temporary Visitor or Student (period of stay: 6 months), you will not be able to enroll in National Health Insurance. We recommend that you enroll in travel insurance or some other form of insurance before you depart for Japan.
- Passport and Residence Card (or Certificate of Alien Registration)
- Report of Status Changes for Persons Insured by National Health Insurance (application form)
- National Health Insurance premium automatic payment request form (optional)
NOTE: You may be asked to provide additional documents.
How to Use
Once you enroll in National Health Insurance, you will receive an insurance card. Make sure you take this with you and present it at the reception desk whenevePayment of insurancer you go to the hospital. When you present this card, you will only need to pay 30% of the total medical expenses covered by the insurance. The remaining 70% will be paid by your insurance. Some treatments, such as normal pregnancies/childbirth, plastic surgery, health examinations, vaccinations, orthodontics, and treatment for illnesses or injuries inflicted intentionally, such as by fighting or illegal activities, are not covered by National Health Insurance. It is also illegal to lend/borrow or sell an insurance card to/from another person. If you do this, you will subject to punishment.
Your insurance card is valid anywhere in Japan, so make sure to carry it with you whenever you travel.
Insurance premiums are determined once a year, based on your previous year's income in Japan. You will pay annual insurance premiums in 10 monthly installments from June to the following March. If you earn more money from part-time work in a given year, your premiums will increase the following year. Note: If you pay your premiums late, you will be subject to late payment fees.
To pay your premiums, you can either (1) set up an automatic withdrawal from an ordinary bank account or a Japan Post Bank (Post Office) account, or (2) use the invoice to pay directly at any bank, Japan Post Bank, City Hall (or branch office), or convenience store.