National Health Insurance (NHI)
How much you pay for NHI is calculated based on your annual income for the previous year. It is calculated from January to December. It is managed by each municipal government (ward, city or town) in Japan and each city charges different rates. This means the premium is different depending on the city you live in.
For these reasons, it is difficult to estimate how much your personal premiums will be in advance. For reference, the highest premiums (for high income earners, not average or low earners!) is approximately 900,000/year in Tokyo but 400,000 yen/year in Chiba.
The annual premium amounts are notified by mail in June-July each year. 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 several possible reasons. One is that the city hall was not 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 therefore calculate the new year’s premiums based on your income in Japan. This makes the amount much higher.
The other reason is not filing your 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 so 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 you talk with the NHI sections in your city if your premiums are too high and need help to understand options to pay off – it is 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)
Your premiums are calculated based on your salary. Your company will pay half of the premiums and you cover the other half, but this will be deducted from your monthly salary. Your monthly premiums are decided by your company’s insurance organization. Your company will have someone designated as in charge of insurance that you should contact if you have further questions.
If you work for a small company or are 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.