Medical and Insurance Concerns

MEDICAL AND INSURANCE CONCERNS

Living and working in a different culture is a rewarding experience but it is not without difficulties.It is important to take care of yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically so that you fully enjoy your time in Japan.

There are doctors in Shimane who are able to speal English (at least in medical terms) and have had experience in treating foreigners.  It is best to ask other JETs, your supervisors, or JTEs for doctor recommendations.  For medical issues which cannot be dealt with at your local hospital, the PAs have contact information for foreign hospitals. clinics and foreign doctors in the larger cities.  With regards to women’s health services in Shimane, the PAs have also compiled a complete list of pertinent hospitals and clinics and have noted those which are overseen by female doctors.

Medical interpreters can be requested through the Shimane International Center (0852-31-5056).  Please ask a PA, your supervisor, or a JTE to help you with this.

JETs are enrolled in four types of insurance:
1.  Government Administered Health Insurance

2.  JET Accident Insurance

3.  Pension Insurance

4.  Employment Insurance

All of these are usually taken out of your monthly salary.  Please refer to your General Informatuon Handbook (GIH) for further explanation.

Government Administered Health Insurance

In accordance with Japanese law, all JETs are covered by a Government Administered Health Insurance Policy.  It is approximately ¥80,000 per month.  Half of the premiums are paid by you and the other half by your Contracting Organization (CO).

You should receive an insurance card shortly after your arrival at your CO, but you are covered even if you do not yet have this card.  If you have any dependents with you, please ask your CO to help you register them on your card.

Should you require medical treatment, take your card to a registered hospital or clinic.  You will be presented with a bill and will be responsible for paying 30% of the treatment costs and the medicine that is prescribed by the doctor.  Make sure you keep all of your receipts for this 30% as you may be able to claim it back later, minus a ¥5,000 yen deductible.

*Dental coverage is included but this tends to be on a case by case basis.

JET Accident Insurance

All JETs are covered by the JET Accident Insurance Policy, which usually covers the remaining 30% of medical treatment costs not covered by government health insurance, minus a ¥5,000 deductibleamount.  The name of the managing insurance company is Sompo Japan, and while you will not receive an insurance card for the JET Accident Insurance Policy, you can make claims with your JET number.  To make a claim, you will need the original receipts from your doctor’s visit and / or the pharmacy.  There is a limit to the coverage, however, and extensive medical treatment, repatriation, and the treatment of some conditions such as diabetes and asthma are not covered (although 70% of costs in Japan will be covered by the government system explained above).  Similarly, you are not covered for treatment overseas for an injury or illness that began in Japan.  You are encouraged to take out extra insurance in your home country.

*Please be advised that under this policy, your belongings will not be covered in the event of a fire or other incident (please see the following page).

Pension Insurance

Enrollment in this policy is a legal requirement.  The Pension Insurance System will provide for you or your family in the event that you are seriously injured or are fatally injured during the period you are making payments into the policy.  These payments can be claimed back in your home country, after leaving Japan at the end of your contract.  Information about claiming this refund is contained in the GIH.

Employment Insurance

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare require all JETs to enroll in Employment Insurance. Payment methods will be stipulated by the JET’s CO, with the period of enrolment coinciding with the JET’s period of employment.  The premium to be paid by the JET will vary slightly according to his / her gross annual income, but is estimated to be between ¥23,000 and ¥25,000 per annum.  After completion of the JET contract, if a JET participant remains in Japan and fulfils all the required conditions, the JET may be deemed eligible to claim unemployment benefits.  Please contact your local public employment security office with any queries.

 Personal Belongings Insurance

Your belongings are not covered by any insurance policy as a JET.   If you want to take out insurance in case of a robbery or other incidents, please consult with your supervisor about this and ask them to recommend an insurance company.

Vehicle Insurance

If you decide to own or lease a vehicle while in Japan, you will need vehicle insurance.  Two types exist:

1.Mandatory Insurance (jibaiseki hoken)

2.Optional Insurance (nin i hoken)

Mandatory Insurance only covers the car, so it’s highly recommended you get Optional Insurance which will cover accidental injuries/damages you may cause or receive.  Furthermore, some COs require that you purchase Optional Insurance if you plan on using your personal vehicle for official business use (such as driving to school).  Ask your supervisor or other JETs or JTEs to recommend a company from which to get Optional Insurance.

Immunizations For Travelling

When you travel abroad, you may find yourself needing MALARIA or TYPHOID immunizations.  The International Clinic located in Tokyp is very helpful and friendly.  Asl for an English-speaking nurse.  You will then be asked your country of destination, duration of stay, etc. and inform you of how many pills you will need.  Usually for malaria you are prescribed Melfloquine or Larium at a cost of about 11,000円 for 7.  After completing a bank transfer and faxing a copy of the transfer, your pills will be sent to you.  To place an order, call (03) 3583-7831.  Open Mon – Fri 9-5, Sat 9-12.

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