You are strongly advised to take out comprehensive private health insurance before leaving for Japan because the Japanese national heath service does not serve non-Japanese citizens unless they have residence status.
Annual travel insurance – which covers not only emergency health costs, but also insures your belongings – is available for as little as 75 euros, so is a better investment than trip-by-trip insurance. You will need to be officially resident in your home country for a total of at least six months in the year however.
Buying private medical insurance over the internet is a simple process, you will just need to provide your credit card details, your permanent address and contact info, and then you will receive you policy document by e-mail.
Pay attention to what your policy will actually cover before buying. Do you intend to do winter or water sports? Do you have any illness or disability that needs to be declared? Such factors will affect the overall cost of your policy.
Once your policy document comes through keep it in a safe place and always have the emergency telephone number of your insurance company and your policy number on your person when you travel. You will find more details in our Travel Guide.
With so much to deal with before leaving your home country, (taxes, moving house, paperwork etc.) the careful planning of your expatriation to Tokyo is an essential step. As far as healthcare is concerned, your local social security scheme won’t be accompanying you to your host country and, once abroad, you might be surprised by the care system you find in Japan. So, before leaving, make sure you have appropriate cover!
EasyExpat.com works in partnership with APRIL International to provide specific insurance solutions for travelling or staying outside your country of nationality.
Designed for either short or long stays, APRIL International’s insurance policies offer protection against any problems that might arise before departure or during your time in Japan: cancelling your trip, medical expenses following an illness or accident, needing to be repatriated, causing damage to a third party or losing your luggage.
For more information on expat health insurance in Japan, visit our partner APRIL International