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There is someone in particular who is seriously considering moving to Japan as an English teacher, through either the J.E.T. program or a private company that has similar ESL positions.

However this person has diabetes and has to take insulin. While my understanding is that Japanese nationals are able to easily secure good health insurance and afford the medicine/treatment for this, I wasn't sure how easy it would be to get health insurance and be able to afford this as a foreign national coming to teach English at a job like this.

I know that the health insurance and things like that would probably differ between companies and organizations, but this person would be reluctant to ask about it early on during an application process, and it would seem like there would be a general, relatively established trend among J.E.T. and similar groups about this for non-Japanese ESL teachers.

What is the general trend for this is and how easy is it / what is the general process for a diabetic coming in to Japan for this type of English-teaching position to secure health insurance and treatment/medicine, taking the kind of pay at these jobs into account?

migrated from travel.stackexchange.com Jul 2 '17 at 13:18

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    Anybody who legally resides in Japan, regardless of citizenship or any other factor, is allowed (indeed, required) to enroll in the health insurance system, either through one's employer or through the State. In either case, the cost (which depends only on one's income) and the benefits are the same. (If you are not satisfied with the benefits, you may enroll in an additional private insurance on your own.) Note that unlike in some other countries (looking at you, UK), in Japan you are entitled to the full benefits from day one, no need to wait x years. – fkraiem Jul 2 '17 at 7:57
  • P.S.: There is plenty of information about the Japanese health insurance system around, and the employer should also explain about it (if not, ask). – fkraiem Jul 2 '17 at 7:59
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This question seems to be based on several misconceptions.

While my understanding is that Japanese nationals are able to easily secure good health insurance and afford the medicine/treatment for this

Indeed, "Japanese nationals are able to easily secure good health insurance"; but so is everyone who legally resides in Japan, regardless of nationality or any other factor. Indeed, one is not merely able to, it is mandatory.

I know that the health insurance and things like that would probably differ between companies and organizations

The cost and health care-related benefits of the mandatory health insurance are the same no matter what your employer is or even whether you have one.

In short, you seem to think your situation is special and requires specific measures; it doesn't. You will enroll in health insurance just like everybody else does. I have no idea where your "understanding" of Japanese health insurance is coming from, but I suggest you consult a reputable source. Typically, it is best to consult with the organisation which provides your health insurance, which in your case would be your employer. If you are reluctant to do that, however, you can look for information about the National Health Insurance (example), which is the one provided to unemployed people (including students, etc.). Your employer-provided health insurance will work in almost the same way, so information about the NHI should work well enough as a general guide, with the caveat that in your case all health insurance-related procedures will be done though your employer, not the government.

  • Thanks! So even though these jobs are lower-paying, you feel a diabetic would be able to get what they need without pinching every penny or being unable to make the cost equivalent of a car payment or something? (I'll try to look at that link as well when it's a good time.) – Panzercrisis Jul 2 '17 at 21:03
  • While I have no experience ith diabetes in particular, I have never heard that insulin was particularly expensive. – fkraiem Jul 3 '17 at 5:48

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