Kobe International Community Center

National Health Insurance Q&A

National Health Insurance


Q1. Why is it required to register in the national health insurance?
A1. For everyone to comfortably receive medical care during an illness or an injury it is necessary to belong
  to the national insurance system. (For public insurances other than the national health insurance, refer to
   Q2.)  Foreigners who have completed residence registration in Japan or who are acknowledged as having

     a status of residence period exceeding 3 months in Japan are qualified and required to register for              national health insurance.


Q2. What type of health insurances are available?
1.  National Health Insurance
2.  Large scale companies register with Health Insurance Society
3.  Mid- small scale companies registers with Japan (Government Managed )Health Insurance

4.  Public service employees and local government employees may register in the mutual aid society.
5.  75 years and older citizens (including citizens who are 65 and older and has been certified with certain
   specified disabilities) may register for latter-stage elderly medical insurance.

  Nursing care beneficiary will receive medical care without registering into a health insurance. 


Q3. Can I apply for a national health insurance only when I have fallen ill?
A3.  To make sure that everyone has medical coverage in the event of an illness or injury, it is necessary
   for each member of the national health insurance to be responsible for his/her share regularly. The
   National Health Insurance is not able to provide services for those who register only when he/she have
   fallen ill. 


Q4. Why is the ward office asking to pay a large sum of past insurance fees at once?
A4. The national health insurance is not designed to provide services for those who register only when
   he/she has fallen ill. Therefore, for prospective members who have not reported in the past will be
   asked to pay for the insurance fee from the month where the member was eligible to apply for the
   health insurance from the month which their registration has been approved (maximum up to 2 years).


Q5. I have not paid my health insurance fee up until now and cannot pay it all at once.
   What should I do? 

A5. Consult with your residential ward office or branch in regards to in making payments by installments.


Q6.How do I pay for my health insurance fee?
A6. We highly suggest that payments be made through bank account transfers. Aside from account
   transfers, payments can be made through convenience stores, banks, ward offices / branch
    counter using the statement of payment.

Q7. I am concerned that I will forget to make the monthly payments. What should I do?
. By choosing the bank account transfer method, the monthly payment will be automatically withdrawn on
   a specific date. Aside from financial institutions such as the bank, credit union, credit association, and
   agricultural cooperative, Japan Post Bank (Postal Office) may be used as well.


Q8. I have retired from my workplace. How should I proceed with health insurance?
. There are 3 procedures.  
【Procedure 1】  Dependent coverage of health insurance
           In the case a member of the household is employed, consult with the workplace’s health
           insurance to see if it is possible to register as a dependent family member.

【Procedure 2】  Voluntary coverage of health insurance
           If you have been covered under an employees’ health insurance for over 2 months, you are
           eligible to apply for a voluntary coverage to the health insurance society or residential
           insurance association. The voluntary coverage application must be submitted within 20
           days after retirement. In general, the coverage is for 2 years. 

【Procedure 3】  National health insurance enrollment
           If you could not receive coverage as a dependent family member, and will not apply for
          voluntary coverage, you are required to register with the national health insurance. Submit
          the registration within 14 days after retirement to your ward office or branch.


Q9. I (or a family member) have been employed. What will happen to the national health

. Consult with the workplace’s health insurance if it is possible to register with the workplace’s
  insurance. In the case it is possible, please follow the procedures for withdrawal from the national health


Q10. What will happen if I am not registered in the national health insurance or other
   health insurance?

. As referred in Q1, aside from those who are register with their workplace’s employee health insurance
   system, everyone must register with the national health insurance. Submit your registration.


Q11. My income has significantly decreased compared to the previous year. What should I

. In certain circumstances, insurance payments may be reduced / exempted. Please consult with your
   residential ward office or branch. 


Q12. I have a low income. What should I do?
. In certain circumstances, insurance payments may be reduced / exempted. Please consult with your
   residential ward office or branch.


Q13. How much is my insurance payment? Where can I find this information?
. Insurance payment depends on the household income. Please contact the ward office or to the national
   health insurance and pension related branch.


Q14. Where can I receive my health insurance card?
. Once all registration forms have been submitted, the health insurance cards will be sent to your
   household address.


National Health Insurance


The translation is based on the data available as of August, 2012. Please note that new systems, system changes etc. may have been introduced after this date. Responsibility for the linked websites lies with their creators. Kobe City accepts no responsibility for their content etc.