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sure your kid’s making less than 1.3 million yen?

Many people are mistaken that your monthly health insurance premium (社会保険料) increases when you have the government issue health insurance certification cards (健康保険被保険者証) for your dependents (扶養者). Introduced earlier in ”figuring out you’re your social insurance premium” the amount of monthly health insurance premium deducted from your paycheck is computed based solely on your compensation using a ”table”. The number of family members you claim as dependents and have the government issue health insurance certification card has no effect. Good news so far, but the government recently began taking actions to periodically reassess whether the dependents you claimed for your health insurance purposes really qualify as dependents.





Under the Health Insurance Law (健康保険法) and interpretations by the ” Social Insurance Agency (社会保険庁)”, the family member you plan on claiming as your dependent for health insurance purposes must have an annual gross income of less than 1,300,000 yen (approximately $10,800).

Until recently, once a dependent was claimed on an employee’s health insurance, that dependent continued to receive health insurance coverage benefits until the employee, through its employer, filed with the Social Insurance Agency that that dependent no longer needs coverage under his/her name. What often happened as a result was that many college graduates who didn’t begin working full time upon graduation remained covered by his/her parents even though he/she was earning more than 1,300,000 yen through part time jobs. The goal of the recent move by the Social Insurance Agency is to stop spending money on these people. Totally makes sense and I support the movement.

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2007年01月16日 Social Insurance Law トラックバック:1 コメント:0

0.35 Million Yen Baby

Well it’s not a Million Dollar Baby but your baby’s worth 350,000 yen, or more, in Japan. No, you don’t have to put your baby on Yahoo! Auction or on eBay. All you need to do is fill out an “Application Form for Midwifery Expenses / Dependents’ Midwifery Expenses Maternity Allowance (出産育児一時金/家族出産育児一時金請求書)” (provided by your local Social Insurance Office or you can download it from the Social Insurance Agency’s website at http://www.sia.go.jp/topics/2006/n0925_2.pdf) and submit it to your local Social Insurance Office (社会保険事務所). You also need to attach a copy of your baby’s birth certificate.





You’re eligible to claim your benefit until 2 years past your baby’s birthday so don’t freak out if you didn’t know about the system or if you’ve simply forgotten. The amount used to be 300,000 yen, but to combat the aging society and encourage more young couples to have babies the government has increased the amount by 50,000 yen to 350,000 effective October 2006.

The form, if you look at it, can be intimidating. If you need assistance filling it out you can ask you HR department (for free but slow) or a Certified Social Insurance and Labor Consultant for assistance (社会保険労務士) (for fee but fast, and a continuing relationship will be very beneficial). It may take up to 2 months for the cash to be deposited into your bank account.

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2006年12月29日 Social Insurance Law トラックバック:0 コメント:0

figuring out your health insurance premium

We’re all cost conscious. After all, who wants to pay more than they have to? Hell, not me. During the past two days I wrote about the two types of health insurance available to non-Japanese nationals in Japan so now you know that your co-pay is reduced to 30% of the total cost. But how much does it cost for this benefit?





Employee Health Insurance
You are assigned something called a standard remuneration (標準報酬月額) based on your monthly salary bracket which is a range your monthly salary falls under. For each salary bracket, and its corresponding standard remuneration, there is a set premium amount that is deducted from your paycheck and for which the company contributes a matching amount. The attachment to this blog is the premium chart where you can find what your salary bracket is. For example, if you earn 360,000 yen a month, your salary bracket is 350,000 ~370,000, the corresponding standard remuneration is 360,000 yen, and the set Health Insurance premium is 14,760 yen per month. The example is highlighted in pink for presentation purposes.

Standard remuneration is initially assigned to you at the time you join the company and is reviewed each year in July. The review process is somewhat complicated but your standard remuneration can go up or down each year.

National Health Insurance
Figuring out the premium for National Health Insurance is more complicated than figuring out the premium for Employees’ Health Insurance because each municipal government has their own way of assessing how much your premium is going to be. No kidding. Of the 3,000 or so municipalities in Japan, each of them have their own way of figuring out how much premium you should pay for your National Health Insurance. Of course, there are many similarities among neighboring municipalities, but still, it’s not uniform. In many cases thought, it tends to be higher than what you would pay under the Employees’ Health Insurance system. Please consult a Certified Social Insurance and Labor Consultant (you can email me from my website) or your local government office for more detail.



2006年12月24日 Social Insurance Law トラックバック:0 コメント:0

health insurance (...continued)

Yesterday I talked about one of the two ways to be covered by health insurance. Today I’d like to share with you the other way, and if you’re not a corporate employee or manage a business of your own, this is probably the only way you can enroll in health insurance. Also, if you’re currently unemployed and are not claimed as a dependant of someone with employee health insurance coverage or if you didn’t elect to have your employee health insurance coverage extended at the time of resignation from your previous company, this may be your only choice. This system is called National Health Insurance (国民健康保険)and you can enroll in this system through your municipal or local (used interchangeably) government office (市役所) that has jurisdiction over your residential area.





Your local government office usually has a designated section that deals with National Health Insurance and the receptionist should be able to direct you to the appropriate person to talk to. Although not wide spread yet, many local government offices are beginning to prepare English guidebooks for National Health Insurance system for non-Japanese residents in Japan. You may want to look into this if available.

Generally, the monthly premium you pay for this type of insurance is higher than the premium corporate employees pay for the type of insurance I introduced yesterday, but the reality is, the Japanese government doesn’t offer you a third choice (and this is the same for Japanese nationals in Japan too). But your out-of-pocket expense is reduced to 30% of the total cost so it’s better than being uninsured.



2006年12月22日 Social Insurance Law トラックバック:0 コメント:10

health insurance

A coworker of mine recently went to a dentist in NYC to treat her cavity and it cost her close to $1,000 (folks in Japan, that’s almost equivalent to 118,130 yen in today’s foreign exchange rate!). No she didn’t get a gold filling and neither did she get her entire teeth replaced. This was outrageous for my coworker who is Japanese because you don’t pay that kind of money to dentists in Japan. In Japan, medical costs are lower than it is in U.S., and on top of that, your co-pay is generally 30% of the cost. The other 70% is paid by your insurer. That’s why we only pay a few hundred to maybe two thousand yen for a trip to a dentist in Japan. So how do you become covered by this insurance? There are two major ways but I’ll only cover one today and that’s by being employed.





Under Health Insurance Law Article 35, employees are automatically enrolled and covered by health insurance from the first day of work. You probably won’t have your health insurance registration card (健康保険被保険者証)on the first day of work because your company’s HR normally needs a week or two to complete paperwork in order for the Social Insurance Office (社会保険事務所) to issue a card for you. But even if you don’t physically have the card with you, you’re already covered and are entitled to all benefits offered.

What often happens (and I’ve dealt with this a lot) is that your child (or any dependant that you claimed on your health insurance) gets sick while your company’s HR is taking their sweet ass time getting your card issued. And without presenting the card to your doctor, you’ll be required to pay 100% of the cost. What do you do? Get your HR to issue you a temporary certificate (健康保険被保険者適用証明書) that proves that you’re an employee of the company and that you’re enrolled in its health insurance program. If your HR is competent enough (and assuming that they’re not swamped with work and that you’ve provided them with all the information they asked from you at the time of hiring), it shouldn’t take them more than 30 min to do this for you. Present this to your doctor and it should have the same effect as presenting them the health insurance registration card.



2006年12月21日 Social Insurance Law トラックバック:0 コメント:0

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