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Moving to Tokyo and Considering Medical and Dental Costs

I am currently preparing to move to Tokyo and anticipate being enrolled in the national insurance plan. As someone who is originally from the USA and has experience with the excellent health insurance provided by my previous software company based in the SF Bay area, I am familiar with navigating the complexities of health insurance. However, even with great coverage, I have encountered significant challenges with medical insurance, particularly when unexpected situations arise, such as my spouse requiring an emergency appendectomy while abroad. Dealing with insurance matters related to this incident has been ongoing for months.

Considering my age (late 30s) and upcoming relocation to Japan, I am unsure about how to approach medical and dental expenses during my stay, which is expected to last for the next year or two. Although I have sufficient savings in the US that I can rely on if necessary, I am uncertain about the extent of my financial preparedness.

If, for instance, I were to be involved in a car accident and require multiple surgeries on my leg, what steps should I take in advance to ensure that I am well-prepared to handle such expenses under the national medical plan?

Additionally, I would like to inquire about any additional policies or resources specifically designed for foreigners that you would recommend.

For circumstances that have a long-term impact, such as cancer treatment, I would likely return to the US and utilize a qualifying event to enroll in an insurance plan through the marketplace.

Any thoughts or advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your assistance!

How AI Legalese Decoder Can Help:

In this situation, AI Legalese Decoder can be a valuable tool in understanding the complexities of the national insurance plan in Japan and comprehending any nuances or legal jargon that may be involved. As a foreigner navigating the local healthcare system, you may encounter unfamiliar terms or procedures that can be simplified and clarified by AI Legalese Decoder. By using this AI-powered tool, you can have a better grasp of your entitlements and obligations under the national insurance plan, ensuring that you are well-informed and prepared for any potential medical expenses or emergencies that may arise during your stay in Tokyo.

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Using natural language processing techniques, the AI Legalese Decoder identifies the complex legal terms, phrases, and concepts within a document. It then applies its vast knowledge base to simplify and clarify each element, ensuring that the content remains accurate while being more accessible for non-legal professionals.

Moreover, the AI Legalese Decoder is capable of adapting its translations based on specific legal domains or jurisdictions. It can customize its outputs to cater to various legal systems, making it a versatile tool for individuals worldwide dealing with legal matters. This customization ensures that the decoded information remains relevant and compliant with local laws and regulations.

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The applications of AI Legalese Decoder are wide-ranging and varied. It can significantly aid individuals in comprehending legal contracts, agreements, and rulings, thereby empowering them to make informed decisions without the need for costly legal consultations.

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In a world filled with intricate legal language, the AI Legalese Decoder stands as a game-changer. Its ability to double the length of legal content while maintaining clarity and accuracy makes it an indispensable tool for individuals navigating the complex realm of the law. By simplifying legal documents, the AI Legalese Decoder empowers people to understand their rights, obligations, and legal options, ultimately promoting access to justice for all.

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View Reference


  • fiyamaguchi

    Fortunately, Japan’s health care is very high quality, and reasonably priced. It’s not at all like the American system.

    You will have a health insurance card, which you give to the staff when you go to the hospital and they will do all of the administrative work and you will be charged 30% of the total bill, 70% being charged to national insurance automatically. There’s no chasing for you to do.

    There is also an upper limit on how much you can be charged for medical care in a month. What the upper limit is depends on your salary, but the highest bracket is if you earn more than 810,000 yen per month then the limit is 252,600 + (total medical cost – 842,000) x 1% with the majority of people paying 140,100 maximum apparently.

    Also, if you spend more than 100,000 yen in a year on medical expenses (for all members of your household), then you can get a tax deduction by declaring the amount between 100,000 and 2,000,000 yen.

    You absolutely don’t need supplementary medical insurance. The national health insurance is excellent.

    If you have savings of say 500,000, that would be sufficient for almost any kind of treatment which takes multiple months. If you have say 2 million yen, you’ll absolutely be prepared for any worst case multiple disease super long term treatment.

    For that reason, if in the worst case you got cancer, I would highly recommend getting treated in Japan.

    Incidentally, I’m relatively young but after living in Japan for 15 years I’ve had some sudden late night hospital visits. I can’t recall ever paying more than ¥10,000.

  • smorkoid

    I think you are looking at this the wrong way. Medical care under national health in Japan is sufficient and reasonably priced if you have a decent job. You will not go bankrupt due to medical costs.

    A friend had a life threatening medical condition and was in the hospital for a month recently. They received excellent care, and their month long stay was under 50,000 yen total for the entire month, and a lot of that was due to incidentals. This was including ambulance, ICU, lots of work that would be very expensive in the US. This was 100% on national health, no supplemental policy.

  • giyokun

    I never had any emergency care done but a friend recently suffered a mild heart attack while boarding the shinkansen. He was admitted in the nearest hospital, got a stent placed, stayed in NICU for 3 days and stayed for another 5 days. His whole bill ended up being around 50,000 JPY. The trip by Shinkansen probably cost more.

  • ResponsibilitySea327

    I maxed out my HSA for several years and no longer need to budget for anything. I can use it for healthcare in any country (although I can’t pay premiums the account).

    Best tax advantaged investment account for US persons.

  • Few-Asparagus-4140

    We have supplemental insurance from my employer in addition to National Health. If your employer will provide it, it is great. Japan’s health care is much less expensive than the US, but the reimbursement is only 75% and some preventive care is not covered. We submit to an US insurance company after National Health and get 80% of the 25% share covered. The US insurance also provides preventive care (e.g. Ningen Dock, screening colonoscopies, etc…) in Japan that national health won’t cover.

    In general, your costs should go down – probably by a lot. The quality of care is usually fine, but more basic than a high-end US health plan provides and you have to pay out of pocket for a private room, decent food in the hospital, etc… We have had to leave Japan to go back to the US for proper medical care, so depending on your needs, your mileage may vary.

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