12. Use Japanese Health Insurance in Foreign Countries

The Overseas Medical Care Benefits System under Japanese National Health Insurance 

If you are a long-term resident in Japan and become ill during a short stay in a foreign county, your National Health Insurance may cover a portion of your medical expenses overseas.

However, there are exceptions such as:
1) Treatment that are not covered by National Health Insurance even in Japan, and
2) When the insured traveled abroad for the purpose of receiving medical care.

Also, those who live outside of Japan for more than a year are not eligible for this program.

Since only those who have addresses in Japan may claim National Health Insurance, only foreign nationals who have re-entry permits when they leave Japan are eligible. National Health Insurance does not cover bills incurred during lengthy stays abroad. In order to claim insurance, you will need:

  • Attending Physician’s Statement
  • Itemized Receipt
  • Your National Health Insurance Card
  • Your Personal Seal
  • A bankbook in the householder’s name

*If an Attending Physician’s Statement and an Itemized Receipt are foreign languages, you also submit a translation giving the name and address of the translator.

Holders of other health insurance policies may also claim overseas treatments.

For more information, please contact a public office (yakusho) in your jurisdiction.