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National Health Insurance / National Pension System

Japan has a National Health Insurance system (kokumin-kenko-hoken) to reduce the burden of medical expenses. In general, all foreign nationals who are issued a residence card, including
international students and researchers, are required to obtain National Health Insurance.
After you joined the insurance, you only have to pay 30% of medical expenses at the counter of the hospital. You will be charged a large amount of money without National Health Insurance if you have to go to a medical institution for treatment due to an unexpected illness or accident even you have a confident in your health.
Also, you will be asked to show your National Health Insurance card (hokensho) when you go through immigration procedures such as the renewal of your period of stay.
Be sure to pay your National Health Insurance premiums properly so that you do not lose your assistance due to delinquency.

Where to register

You can apply for this service when you register your new address in Japan at the city hall or the ward office. Payment is not required at application.

Requirements for registration

1, Application form (国民健康保険用所得申告書)
  This is income declaration form for National Health Insurance. The form is available at the city hall or the ward office. It is also ready at ISD.
2, Residence card・Passport

Insurance fees

Insurance premiums are determined based on your annual income for the previous year, and the amount varies in each municipality. (Scholarships are not considered as income.) After completing the enrollment procedures, you will receive a payment slip, which you can pay in a lump sum or in installments.
In some cases, you may be able to receive a reduction in the amount of premiums you pay depending on your income. To receive this reduction for Chiba city residents, you need to submit an income declaration form for National Health Insurance to the ward office between January and March every year. The form is also available at ISD office. If you are a resident of Matsudo City, please declare your "City and Prefectural Tax(「市県民税」)" at Matsudo City Hall.

How it does work

When you join this system, the insurance holder’s card (hokensho) will be issued on the spot on registration. When you go to a hospital for a medical examination, be sure to bring your insurance card to the counter, then the medical expenses will be automatically calculated using your insurance.
If you do not present your insurance card, you will be required to pay the full amount of the medical bill. Even in such a case, you can get a refund for the difference by presenting your insurance card later, so please follow the instructions at the hospital counter. However, please note that the refund may not be given unless it is within the same month as the date of the medical examination.

National Health Insurance does NOT cover the followings Medical checkup, Vaccination, Cosmetic medicine Injuries and illness caused by fighting or being drunk Childbirth, Abortion for reasons other than illness or injury

When returning to your country

When you return to your home country after completing your study in Japan, please go to the municipal office to complete the procedures for leaving the insurance. If you have overpaid your insurance premiums, you will receive a refund. The procedure can be available about one month prior to your return date. For this procedure, you will need to provide proof of your return (e.g., a copy of your airline ticket or e-ticket). If you do not complete the procedure, you will be billed for the premiums even after you return to your home country, so be sure to complete the procedure together with the notification of moving out.

All registered residents in Japan aged 20 to 59 years must be covered by the National Pension System (kokumin-nenkin). Foreign residents who have been issued a residence card are obliged to join the National Pension Plan.
(Japan National Pension Service : https://www.nenkin.go.jp/index.html )

How to enroll in the System

The person who becomes a resident in Japan before 20 years old

You will receive “the notification of National Pension system registration” from Japan Pension Service after you become 20 years old.

The person who becomes a resident in Japan after 20 years old

You are required to apply for the National Pension System at municipal offices or the Japan Pension System Branch Offices.

If you have difficulty paying National Pension Contributions

Degree-Seeking students (Seikisei)

Undergraduate, master’s course or doctoral course students can apply for “Special Payment System for Students."
If your application is approved, you may be allowed to postpone contribution payment.
You need to submit the application form every year.
https://www.nenkin.go.jp/international/japanese-system/nationalpension/nationalpension.html

Non-degree-seeking students (Hi-seikisei)

Research students, exchange students, or Japanese intensive course students can apply for “National Pension Contribution Exemption/Payment Postponement."
If the application is approved, the exemption of full or partial amount of contribution payment is granted.
https://www.nenkin.go.jp/service/pamphlet/kaigai/menjyo-yuyo.html

Procedure after your graduation

When returning to your country

You are required to report to the municipal office by the notification of moving out (Tenshutsu Todoke) before you leave Japan. Then you will lose the qualification for the National Pension System.
However, the person who has contributed to the National Pension System for at least six months in total can apply for “Lump-sum Withdrawal Payments”(「脱退一時金」) within two years after you register to leave Japan even if you are no longer Japanese resident.
https://www.nenkin.go.jp/service/jukyu/todoke/kyotsu/20150406.html

If you work for a company after your graduation and are covered by employees pension

insurance systems, your employer is responsible for completing your enrollment of pension system on behalf of you. The employer may ask you “Your Basic Pension Number” (「基礎年金番号」) , which is identification number written on your Pension Handbook.

※Regarding “Social Security Agreements”
https://www.nenkin.go.jp/international/english/international/socialsecurity.html

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