National Health Insurance (NHI)
How much you pay for NHI is calculated based on the insurance holder’s annual income of the previous year from January to December. It is managed by each municipal government (ward, city or town) in Japan and each city charges different rates; the premium amounts are different depending on the city you register.
For the reasons above it is difficult to estimate how much your premiums will be before you complete residential registration and notify your previous years income to your city. For your reference, the highest premiums (for high income insurance holders, not average or low income holders!) is approximately 900,000/year in Tokyo but 400,000 yen/year in Chiba.
The annual premium amounts are notified by mail in June. You can pay them off monthly in cash at a bank or a post office or you can apply for automatic withdrawal.
If your premiums suddenly become much higher than the previous year, there are some possible reasons. One is that the city hall had not been able to confirm your previous year’s income because you were living overseas so they charged you the lowest amount appropriate to your age group. However, one year has passed after you moved in and now the city can confirm your annual income. They can calculate the new year’s premiums based on your income in Japan. This makes the amount much higher.
The other reason is not filing the tax return. Self-employees or students are requested to submit the tax return form between February to March every year. If you didn’t submit your tax return then the city cannot confirm your previous year’s income and will charge you the highest rate of premiums. You can notify the NHI section of your city that you did not do the tax return but would like to do so to amend the premium amounts.
We can help with your communication with the NHI sections in your city if your premiums are too high and need help to understand options to pay off – often better to have us help you in order for you to have a better negotiation even if you speak some Japanese.
Social Health Insurance (Company insurance)
The premiums are calculated based on the insurance holder’s salary. Your company pays half of the premiums and you cover the other half, but this will be deducted from your monthly salary. Your monthly premium are decided by your company’s insurance organization. Please inquire your company’s person in charge for further questions.
If you work for a small company or asked to contact the company insurer on your own or need to contact them for private reasons, we are happy to help as most insurers do not speak English. Please inquire by email.