And if the thought of a pile of paperwork written in Japanese sends your stress level up, Japan Healthcare Info "JHI" simplify the process for expats in Japan.
If you are living in Japan with a chronic illness and paying a large sum for your medication, you may be eligible to receive one of three different medical subsidies, depending on your condition and health insurance status.
The nanbyo, or incurable disease subsidy, may be used for diseases such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), to name just a few of the 306 conditions that fall under this category.
The municipal government’s subsidy, supported by the prefecture you live in, can be used for illnesses such as Hepatitis B or C, tuberculosis, epilepsy and various mental health conditions. This subsidy can also be used for fertility treatments if you meet the prerequisites.
The third category is a general subsidy (benefit) — called "kougaku iryouji", that applies to all insurance-covered conditions, outpatient and inpatient services. Rheumatoid arthritis is one example.
Some mental illnesses also may qualify for one of the subsidies, depending on a doctor’s assessment. Examples include depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, mood disorder, mental retardation, neurotic disorder, among others.
Note: It is important to note that you will not be automatically notified of your eligibility to receive a subsidy.
Each patient is responsible for pursuing this process with their medical provider(s)—this includes all of the paperwork, which is all in Japanese and can often be complicated. But JHI can help you each step of the way and take care of that paperwork for you.
Children under age 17 can also take advantage of a medical subsidy in Japan if they have certain conditions, like pediatric cancer or heart disease. Out-of-pocket payment is determined by income.
To talk with someone about your specific situation and to find out more about applying to receive a medical subsidy, please email Japan Healthcare Info at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out the link below to learn more about the medical subsidies available in Japan.