Health Insurance: Residential requirement for dependent. To be introduced in April 2019. Admin notice issued by MHLW.

Japanese Version

 As informed in a previous blog post, on April 1, 2020, additional residential requirement is introduced for a dependent to be covered by public health insurance. In principle, dependents living outside of Japan will be no longer covered after this amendment becomes effective.

 Administrative notice is issued in November 2019 by Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW), which describes details and FAQ in order to standardize implementations of the amendment across health insurance unions.

 Currently there are two requirements as follows for a relative to be covered as a dependent. After the amendment, residential requirement is added on top.

 The additional residential requirement is summarized as follows.

  • Principle: A qualified relative living in Japan satisfies the residential requirement and is accepted as an insured dependent.
  • Exception #1: A qualified relative may not be accepted as an insured dependent even if the relative lives in Japan. The notice lists out the following two cases (which may not be exhaustive):
    • A relative in Japan with “visa for medical stay”
    • A relative in Japan wit “long stay visa for sightseeing and recreation”
  • Exception #2: A qualified relative may be accepted as an insured dependent even if the relative lives outside of Japan. The notice lists out the following five cases:
    • Student living and studying outside of Japan
    • Family member being accompanied with an insured person who is on work assignment outside of Japan (in case the insured person remains covered by health insurance)
    • Family member of an insured person who newly comes into the family relationship during the person’s work assignment outside of Japan, e.g. through marriage or birth
    • A relative being outside of Japan temporarily for sightseeing, recreation or volunteer activities but not for work
    • or any other relatives who a health insurer judges as having livelihood in Japan even though they stay outside of Japan

 As a transitional measure, an insured dependent, who is hospitalized as of April 1, 2020, remains covered until the dependent is discharged from hospital, even though the dependent does not meet the residential requirement.

 This amendment will have the following implications to world talents who participate Japan’s public health insurance. Please contact your health insurance union for further details.

  • A dependent living outside of Japan will be no longer covered, in principle.
  • When sending a child abroad for study, e.g. at a school in home country, the child and an accompanying parent if any may stay covered by health insurance because of the Exception #2 above.

Source #1: MHLW – Note on Residential Requirement for Health Insurance Dependent (Japanese)

Source #2: Current definition of Health Insurance Dependent as of Dec 2019 – ”Kyoukai Kenpo” (Japanese)

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