Social Insurance System – types of health insurance
The term “social insurance” captures health, medical, and pension plans and systems in Japan and is most commonly represented by health insurance laws (Health Insurance Law and National Health Insurance Law) and pension laws (Welfare and Pension Law and National Pension Law).
Health Insurance Law “Health Insurance Law” is a direct translation of 健康保険法 (kenko hoken ho), the official name of the law. However, the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare together with the Social Insurance Agency use the term “Employees’ Health Insurance” interchangeably because Health Insurance Law is a workplace-based insurance system that AUTOMATICALLY covers “employees” of companies with 5 or more workers or of incorporated companies, regardless of the employee’s age or nationality.
"Employees’ Health Insurance is a workplace-based insurance system that provides financial assistance to company employees and other salaries employees, as well as their dependents, in the event of sickness, injury, childbirth, and death" (Social Insurance Agency).
Examples of workers covered under Employees’ Health Insurance include (1) employees who work under an employer with more than 5 employees, generally regardless of the industry in which the employer operates and (2) employees who for an incorporated employer such as a kabushiki-gaisha (株式会社). These employees are not covered under National Health Insurance.
Examples of workers NOT covered under Employees’ Health Insurance include workers whose employer is unincorporated and operate in industries such as farming, fishery, hotel, salon, law, accounting, and religion. These employees are covered under National Health Insurance.
National Health Insurance Law Because Health Insurance Law or Employees’ Health Insurance are designed only to cover corporate employees, other types of workers such as self-employed individuals and business owners are not covered under the Employees’ Health Insurance. To complement this, “National Health Insurance Law (国民健康保険法 or kokumin kenko hoken ho)”, covers all workers who do not qualify for coverage under the Employees’ Health Insurance system.
"The National Health Insurance system is designed to help citizens secure a decent living, stable lives by providing financial assistance to self-employed workers, (and other people who do not qualify for Employees’ Health Insurance) and their dependents in the event of sickness, injury, childbirth, and death" (Social Insurance Agency).
Always appreciate your comments Nomo-san! And my apologies for the late reply.年金制度への不安は日本に限らず、アメリカでも同様にあり、401(k)の発足もそんな不安が一つの要素になっていると思います。私も401(k)に加入しています。
And thank you for your question! 「国民保険」という言葉は実際はないのですが（私が知らないだけかもしれませんが…）、もしかしたら「国民年金」のことでしょうか？国民年金、と想定してお話ししますと、制度上では「国民年金」は広い意味での「社会保険」に含まれています。社会保険は、おおまか、国民（＝社会）の生活の安定と福祉を守る（＝保険）ためのもの、と考えていただければよいと思います。
Thinking about working in Japan? Preparing to move overseas almost becomes a full-time job in the final weeks of your departure. Many people quit their jobs weeks before so they can devote their time to preparation. But what about your health insurance? Short-term health insurance plans are a great solution. ↓
Below are links to Certified Social Insurance and Labor Consultants providing services in English. Also below are useful links related to working in Japan and links to women balancing career and personal happiness. WJA realizes and promotes women's increasing value in the labor market.