Are you living with a chronic illness and dreaming of moving to Japan? Or maybe you have a job lined up and are concerned about regularly shipping your medication from overseas? Perhaps the medication availability in Japan isn’t a problem, but the cost is burning a hole in your wallet.
If you’re nodding "yes", we have good news: The Japanese government and municipalities provide subsidies for over 100 diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis B and C, and epilepsy, to name a few.
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 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.
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 JHI at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out the link below to learn more about the medical subsidies available in Japan.