National Health Insurance （国民健康保険, kokumin kenkou hoken）
The national health insurance scheme is available for the self-employed, unemployed, students, and others not eligible for Employee's Health Insurance. It is operated by local municipal bodies.
Foreign residents may enroll for national health insurance if
- They have submitted a Moving-In Notification and have a Resident’s registration （住民票, juuminhyou）
- Their status of residence （visa） is for more than 3 months.
*National health insurance contributions will vary according to the municipal body, so please inquire at your local municipal office for details.
Where to go to sign up
Please go to the municipal hall of the town which you live. National health insurance signups should be easy to find, but if you’re unsure, ask to sign up for National Health Insurance （国民健康保険の加入, kokumin kenkou hoken no kanyuu） at the help desk.
*Sometimes the Japanese word for NHI is shortened to 国保, kokuho.
National Health Insurance divisions in Iwate’s municipalities
Copayments for National Health Insurance
Your portion of the cost is 30% of the medical fees spent for your treatment. However, for people aged 70~74 and their dependents will only spend 10% or 30% depending on their incomes. Guardians of children will only be charged 20% from birth until compulsory education.
How to withdraw from the National Health Insurance System
If you have lost your job and thus lost your Employee’s Health Insurance, you must go to your municipal hall to enroll in the National Health Insurance system within 14 days. Vice versa, if you have a new job that is eligible for Employee’s Health Insurance, you must inform the municipal hall that you no longer need National Health Insurance within 14 days. If you are planning to move abroad, you must inform the National Health Insurance system by going to the municipal hall. If you do not withdraw, you will still be on the hook for insurance payments.
Insurance contributions are based on your income and can be paid at a bank or other financial institution. When you first come to Japan, you will have no prior income and will pay the minimum rate for NHI, but in your second year these payments will probably increase. People between the ages of 40 and 65 will also have to pay an amount towards nursing care insurance.
If you are having trouble paying your contributions to NHI, please consult with the NHI section in your local municipal government.
Japanese law requires you to enroll in a health insurance system. If you do not receive Employee’s Health Insurance, you must sign up for National Health Insurance. In fact, you may be liable for back payments if you are eligible and neglect to sign up. Please consult your local municipal office to prevent confusion.
Office of International Affairs, Department of Homeland Promotion
(020-8570) 10-1 Uchimaru, Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture, JAPAN
Phone number:019-629-5765 Facsimile:019-629-5254
You can access our question form here.