Japan’s universal healthcare system is for everyone
Enrollment in a Japanese government-managed health insurance system is a legal requirement for all residents of Japan. The only exception is SOFA* holders. Although enrollment is not a requirement to apply at Gaba, both employees and instructors alike are expected to be compliant with the rules and regulations governing the country.
*Status of Forces Agreement issued to persons affiliated with the US Military
National Health Insurance
国民健康保険 – Kokumin Kenkou Hoken
Gaba recommends instructors enroll in the Japanese National Health Insurance plan. Once again, the only exception is SOFA holders mentioned above. For newcomers to Japan, the National Health Insurance plan is inexpensive and has good basic coverage. The premiums are generally around 2000 yen per month for the first year. From the second year onward, premiums are tied to the instructor’s earnings from the previous year and will usually increase. Enrollment is a requirement for instructors seeking visa sponsorship with Gaba. Requirements and information may vary depending on your city/ward. Please check with your local municipal office for more details.
Social Health Insurance
社会保険 Shakai Hoken
Full-time employees of companies in Japan are enrolled in this option. Gaba instructors do not qualify directly, but for those with family members in Japan who are enrolled in the Social Health Insurance plan, this may be an option. The instructor can be considered a beneficiary and included under the health insurance plan provided by the family member’s place of employment. It is important to be aware of possible income limits as exceeding the limit may result in the necessity to pay additional insurance premiums or switch to Japanese National Health Insurance.
Private Health Insurance
Many foreign residents of Japan opt to take out policies offered by private insurance companies. However, do bear in mind that all foreign residents of Japan must be enrolled in some form of health insurance sponsored by the government (i.e. National Health Insurance, Social Health Insurance). Therefore, private health insurance can only act as a supplement. If you are interested, here are some private insurance companies you may choose to explore: