Private health care

Private health insurance in Japan

All foreigners are required to have health insurance while in Japan. Some temporary visitors make do with international insurance plans. Those remaining in Japan for longer periods of time, however, either join the National Health Insurance system or choose to arrange for private health insurance in Japan.

One of the chief advantages to private insurance is that it offers better access to English-speaking doctors. This makes the private option ideal for foreigners who speak little or no Japanese. The cost and the coverage of private health insurance plan in Japan vary depending on the insurance provider, so shop around before you make a choice.

Foreign families benefit from private care in that they receive more personal treatment and are able to develop better relationships with their physicians. Their medical records are centralized and children can be immunized on the same schedule used in their home countries.

If you choose private care, your insurance company should provide you with a list of physicians and hospitals. Additional resources you can use to find hospitals or clinics with English-speaking staff are the Tokyo Metropolitan Health and Medical Information Service and AMDA International Medical Information Centre .

Cosmetic surgeries and procedures in Japan

Japan´s NHI does not cover cosmetic procedures, and this includes orthodontic work. Any such procedure must be arranged through private health care providers. The lack of public insurance coverage should not imply a lack of service, however. The popularity of cosmetic surgery has exploded in Japan, ensuring that numerous qualified, licensed professionals are available throughout the country.

Further reading

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