How Much I PAY at a Japanese Hospital on Japan’s Healthcare System

How Much I PAY at a Japanese Hospital on Japan’s Healthcare System


So in this video I wanted to talk about Japanese healthcare medical costs and my experience in the last 15 years living in Japan So the other day my wife Maiko told me that she had to go to the doctor because she had a cold I asked her didn’t you just go like a few days ago He said yeah, but that was for a skin rash and then I asked didn’t he go a week before that? And she said yeah, but that’s different that was for a stomachache for me. Someone that grew up in the States That’s kind of a lot of doctor visits I might go for a severe skin rash but not for a cold or a stomachache which got me thinking about Japanese healthcare in general and why people in Japan go to the doctor so much Compared to other countries like the US I mean, how is it in your country? Does everyone go to the doctor for every little minor ailment and with the reasoning behind it? anyway, let me explain the basic Japanese healthcare system for Those of you who don’t know Japan was ranked 11th out of 195 countries in Haq rankings The Japanese healthcare system is considered universal because it’s supposed to cover everyone in Japan So anyone living in the country even a foreigner like myself have to pay into the system So insurance covers 70 to 90 percent of all necessary doctor visits and one of the things I appreciate About the Japan healthcare system is you don’t have to pay the full amount of your medical bill up front and then later fill out Some paperwork to claim a refund perfect for someone like me who hates paperwork So all you need to do when you arrive at the hospital clinic is show your health care card actually I have one in my pocket right now Actually, I don’t have it but today right here it is It has all my information so I can’t actually show you what’s inside But I pretty much carry around with me everywhere Just in case you never know and so it’s nice at the end of your visit The hospital will calculate how much you need to pay and you’re good to go. And to be honest. It’s surprisingly cheap I’ll get into the actual cost in a few moments So again people only pay about 30% of the total hospital bill and sometimes it can be reduced down to 10% Depending on other reasons and your monthly health insurance varies depending on your age income type of work and Where you live and there are three main health care systems in Japan one per company employs two for civil servants teachers and public workers And the third insurance for everyone else. They all have pretty much the same coverage But if you’re an employee the company has to pay half of your health insurance, which is awesome for most Japanese people So for example, let’s do this in u.s. Dollars So it’s easier to reference if you’re under thirty nine years old and you work a regular job in Tokyo and you make twenty four Hundred dollars a month you only pay one hundred and twenty dollars for your insurance Now if you make five thousand dollars you pay about three hundred and fifty dollars And so you’re making the big bucks into making ten thousand dollars a month You’re paying about five hundred and twenty five dollars in insurance. I don’t know. I think that’s pretty reasonable What do you guys think? and how much do you guys pay for your monthly health care insurance and now go to the point and Michael goes to the hospital. So many times here are some regular doctor visits that I’ve had So my knee was bothering me after playing some basketball I went to the doctor for an examination and got three x-rays The total fee was eleven dollars and the three x-rays only cost two dollars and fifty cents another time I had a doctor Consultation to pick up some medication and only cut those three dollars and fifty cents to consult with the doctor Can you guys see now why Michael goes to the doctor so much? It’s just so cheap relatively speaking knowing those numbers It makes so much more sense to me why Japanese people? Go to the hospital and go to the clinic for every little sickness or illness or whatever happens. They just go see the doctor another perk about having company health insurance is that they offer free annual health checkups It’s funny though because health examinations become a yearly talking point for many Japanese employees employees ask each other and if they’ve taken it yet regardless You know, it’s that time of the year because you get spammed by HR telling you to take your test So anyway, let me break it down. So the basic annual health exam is called the cane coaching done again It’s free for most employees the exam checks things like your eyesight hearing blood chest x-rays urinalysis, etc Just to make sure your body is working as it should and if anything is out of whack You can catch it early on there’s actually a more comprehensive exam that’s called the mean game doc It’s free if you’re on the company insurance and you’re over 35 years old these additional tests include things like Respiratory function stool tests more detailed bloodwork, etc Then you can add extra examinations on top of these at your own in my case. I wanted how to really check things out So I actually got CT scans for my head and chest this set me back three hundred and twenty dollars But if you just took the standard examinations and you’re on the company insurance, then it’s all free to me. That’s pretty amazing But what do you guys think? How much would these examinations constant your country? All right Now, let me talk about something a little more serious I haven’t mentioned this before but in 2012, I was in the city of snowboarding accident here in Japan I ended up with internal organ damage a collapsed lung a broken hip nine broken ribs. It caused an aortic aneurysm I ended up in the emergency room in Nagano of all places and I was in the ICU for about twenty days Now how much do you guys think that hospital bill would come to well It came out cheaper than I’d ever expected. It only costs $1,500 to save my life, which I’m super thankful for and then after about twenty days at Nagano I was transferred into a hospital in Tokyo I spent about another 40 days in an atom to tokyo hospital and I had to have open-heart Surgery for my aortic aneurysm heads up end of the day the open-heart surgery and the 40-day stay in the hospital and came out to be $4,800 it felt quite expensive at the time but compared to other parts of the world and the quality of health care I received here in Japan. It was so worth it in fact Another feature of the Japanese health care system is something called major medical expense supply which basically means that if your monthly medical bills get to a certain threshold then the Government will pay you back some of the money this pretty much ensures that no one goes bankrupt If they get sick here in Japan, which like is another cool thing, but luckily in my case I never got to that point. So in my previous video you probably already know Michael and I recently got married I have American citizenship. So we’ve actually considered moving back to the States but one of the scary things for us is the u.s Health care, especially now that we’re thinking about starting a family the thing is I have a friend in the u.s That was recently hospitalized He wasn’t feeling well, I got really sad and had to spend seven days in the hospital so they could run tests And so that he could recover the medical bill after the entire ordeal cost seventy thousand dollars for those seven days That’s ten thousand dollars per day. That’s insane. There’s no way I’d be able to afford getting sick in the u.s let alone my family probably the reason why I never went to the Doctor when I was growing up for a cold or even a stomachache it was just way too expensive and probably the reason why my Co although she was healthy growing up has so many memories of always visiting the doctor so anyway Let me know what you guys think of the medical cost in Japan what you think about the health care system? Here compared to your country and let me know if you prefer over in your country and like always if you like this video help Me out and hit that like button if you want to see what I’m doing on a daily basis check out my Instagram account If you like these types of videos about Japan Or you want to see more of my guides hit that subscribe button and the Bell button and I’ll catch you guys in the next one

100 thoughts on “How Much I PAY at a Japanese Hospital on Japan’s Healthcare System

  1. in my experience japanese doctor usually won`t give a good dose of medicine to fix your problem with 1 visit.in the end you need to visit 2 or 3 times only to fix your flu.its business more money for them LOL

  2. so you’re telling me, that it costed $1,500 to save your life and i had to pay $300 dollars for a small crack on my elbow and didn’t get service right away and had a “fake cast”(like half open) for a week before actually getting the cast and pay additional $100 dollars for the check in the ER.

    i’m moving to Japan, it’s work paying so much for housing with that cheap hospital bill

  3. is true in the usa going to the er is expensive and you get charged 1000 for basic cases it is a mafia that makes money from the people that they are supposed to take care of.

  4. Sounds really similar to the healthcare system here in Taiwan. My wife recently gave birth to our first child here. We went with a really nice foreigner friendly private birthing center, had to stay extra days because of complications, and had other miscellaneous expenses. It ended up costing us under 2000 US. I can't even imagine how much giving birth would have cost us in the states. Healthcare is one of several reasons we haven't moved back.

  5. USA does not have universal coverage. Medical bills are insane. There is govt assistance, Mefi-Csid, but that's income based, not to mention that medical health system is really bad even with insurance. It's sad that the richest country in the world is really poor in regards to the health system

  6. I love the videos where you expose parts of Japanese life that would normally be inaccessible to foreigners!

    I love your “Day in the Life of” videos, as well!

    Keep up the good work, and glad you’re ok after that accident

  7. The US isn't bad with healthcare. You just have to get insurance and pay a copay. The insurance pays the rest of it. I had surgery and I had a copay of 500 dollars.

  8. I’m also in The United States and recently, my roommate needed to be hospitalized and He needed emergency surgery and that bill cost His insurance $52,500. And He was in there for just 72 Hours.

    Getting sick in the United States is a luxury most cannot afford.

  9. In Holland we have pretty decent healthcare.
    But what I hate about it, is that much like your wife, many people just go to the doctor for every little thing , simply because it costs so little.
    This is creating waiting lists and too much stress on the system.

    Another problem is that there is too much power in the hands of insurance and pharmaceutical companies.
    And that is dangerous because … look at the USA

    At the end of the day I just think insurance is for calamities, like cancer, bad accidents and chronic illnesses… not for check ups or a bit of a stomach ache.

    I would even opt for a car insurance like system, where there us free market solutions for minor things and check ups, but mandatory insurance for calamities.

  10. In my country, we do not need insurance for medical care. Insurance is for those who can pay, for additional health coverage.

  11. If you get a real job then you don’t have to worry about. My company covers 100% of our insurance premium each month. $500 deductible per person, per year

  12. Did you know that the cost of healthcare in the united states has gone up over 200 times since the 1960s (when medicare and Medicaid were passed).
    And no, I didn't mean 200%!

    Did you know that before a hospital can open, the person building it has to get permission from a comity of "experts" who determine whether another hospital is necessary?
    Who are the experts you might ask? The other hospitals of course!

    Did you know that the federal government has a special test, outside of medical school, that you have to pass to be a doctor?
    How else would they limit the number of candidates every year?

    Did you know that hospitals are the ones who want to pass medical legislation so that they can use the authority you give them to crush their competition and raise their prices to absurd levels?
    It's mandated monopoly!

  13. I just spent 12 days in an American hospital and my cost was ZERO! I have two insurance cards and pay 300/mo for both premiums.

  14. Gets sick in Japan: No problem I'll go see the doctor, I can afford it🙂
    Gets sick in America: Guess I'll die 🤷‍♂️

  15. In Malaysia, most of the time when people visit to the clinic is to get a medical certificate in order to take leave off work. 😂 #typicalmalaysian

  16. how much it gets when you are old? like 70+, i heard once that some old japanese people will spend their late life outside japan(brazil in the case i heard) because health care gets pretty expensive.. how it is actually?

  17. As someone from Canada, it seems strange to pay absolutely anything at the hospital/doctor. In most places in Canada, you walk in and walk out. No fees, no bills, no insurance needed. You’re all covered.

  18. I live in the US… and have been planning my escape for quite a while now. Not sure why everyone keeps regurgitating this dumb shit about "the greatest country in the world"….really? In what? Expense? Corruption? Inequality? Maybe so if those were the parameters….

  19. I'm American and have been living in Austria for several years, our health system is similar in model and cost to the things you described in Japan. I'd like to come home sometime but one thing that really makes me think twice is the medical system, even with coverage a 40 day hospital stay would be enough to bankrupt someone in the US.

  20. I live in Washington State. My husband have medical and vision insurance thru his work pays 125 per month for 3 people. same price for if you have 5 children and doesn't matter of income. and pay 175 per yr for dental. On medical side have 3000 deductible and 6000 for whole family. Dental is awesome too. I always had good medical insurance thru work since 1987. This year I had 2 surgery and my husband had hip replacement all we paid out of pocket deductible. Insurance paid over 600,000.

  21. in my country ranked 9 on that chard we pay about 100 to 150 euro a month and the once a year 400 euro for the rest is it almost aways free to go to the doctor
    but it can be even less people who don't earn 22,000+ euro a year get about 100 euro to pay for you Healthcare and children under 18 are 100% free

    and a complet search wil set you back about 2500 euro but it's a 1 night stay

    but operations for life treating thing are extreemly cheap 2 years ago i had to have all my teeth removed because of a disease what i could not do anything about the full operation was 6000 euro but i only had to pay in the end 600 euro and my insurance made that 0 😛 so had to pay nothing

  22. My son had a hole in his intestines when he was 3 years old. We live in France. He had surgery and insurance covered everything. My French father in law had cancer 4 years ago, same thing. Didn't have to pay for anything. He even has yearly checkups, which are still covered. Meanwhile, my Mom, who is American, passed away 9 years ago. A ton of paperwork and I think my parents paid about $18k in 3 months after my Mom's insurance paid their part.

  23. I pay around £200 per month and the Dr visits are completely free. But UK healthcare is completely free to anyone.

  24. You must be out of your mind wanting to move back to the States. If I speak the language like you do and know that I can get a job there, I would live there. Nothing against our Motherland U.S.A. but the cost of healthcare in the States is absolutely ridiculous.

  25. In the Netherlands we pay around € 100 to 150 pm. Depends for what you want to insurance. But when u make cost under 385 you have to pay that first, and then the insurance company takes over the rest. Still pretty good if u ask me.

  26. "It only cost $1500 to save my life" that sentence just summed the US healthcare system so much. They dont give af if you cant pay. Sure…they might save your life, but that care bill you amassed just ended whatever life they saved. 4500 for heart surgery and 40 days, vs 70k for 7 days and some tests. Yup, sounds about right. One of the many scams that helped build this country.

  27. US health care is painfully expensive. The one advantage is we have shorter wait times for tests/procedures than many other countries. A Canadian friend of mine had to wait almost 5 months for the same surgery my aunt had in the states within 7 weeks.

  28. Wow I am absolutely stunned over how cheap the healthcare is in Japan. I live in US and recently flew my elderly mom here to take care of her, she has 3 medical conditions, which I do not know if we d be able to get money for to treat. Maybe moving to Japan is something we should consider. However, no one in my family knows Japanese.

  29. A huge part of the problem with the US health industry is the insurance companies. The hospitals and doctors charge an obscene amount of money for anything because (other than the fact that they're greedy) the insurance companies only pay a fraction. I'm an accountant and have several doctor and hospitalist clients and I see the variance in what they charge vs. what they actually get.
    Also as an example: My mother who is on Medicare due to age, and I both got flu shots last year. She paid zero and I paid $21 out of pocket without insurance. I reviewed her Medicare account a few weeks later and found the pharmacist billed medicare over $365 for my mother's flu shot. The same thing I paid $21 to get. I've been told they bill medicare so much because they won't get nearly that amount and want to make sure they get as much as they can. It's absolutely absurd. All medical insurance is like that in the US. The bills are a joke.
    Healthcare wouldn't be so hard in the US if it were more fairly regulated. There are so many things wrong with the healthcare industry and most revolves around simple greed and being able to charge whatever they want.

  30. Holy shit. Why in the HELL would you want to move to the US from Japan???!?!!! I admire Japan and it's culture VERY much. Regimented and responsible.

  31. I'm American. The medical industry sucks here. Many things suck here. My recommendation is to stay in Japan.

  32. In Australia we have national health care. If you are citizens then u have Medicare Cards, which cover a lots of doctors and public hospitals. It does not cover "Extra" health services such as dentist and special therapies. So for free you have to use public hospital and go to doctors who fully charge their services via Medicare. You just walk in there and scan ur Medicare card and that's it. If you want to go to private hospital or use a specific doctor who happens to charge extra on top of what Medicare covers, then you pay the extra by yourself or via your own private health care. Most peole would just use Medicare cards and joins a "extra" covers for dentists, optometrists etc.. which can cost btw $aud 60 – 200 a month depends on the cover levels.

  33. Here in America shaking the doctor's hand when you first meet costs about $1300.

    And if you're thinking about having kids? Don't do it in an America hospital 1. The chances of complications are higher here than a lot of other countries
    2. Depending on where you go it can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $80,000 depending on said complications.

  34. In Canada, people usually try not to go even though it’s free. You still have to miss work which is highly discouraged. In fact I always found your employer would be mad if you called in sick, even to go to the doctor. So I find people go to the doctor when something is chronically wrong or for prescriptions. For example: kidney stones, infections, birth control. People go to the hospital for broken bones, car accidents, and to have a baby.

  35. I've been watching your videos for a while and in your place I'd stay in Japan forever; besides healthcare, it's a much better environment where rules are actually respected and the government does have the population in mind in their decisions

  36. in malaysia, they give panadol (paracetamol) for everything. cold? panadol. fever? panadol. headache? panadol. hotel? panadol.

  37. hello there, im from austria (cows not kangaroos), we have a universal health care, u get a cut to your monthly paycheck for medical insurance. its pretty cheap compared to other countrys like the U.S. if u get sick and go to the doctor is costs nothing, even though if u need to go to the hospital everything is covered.

  38. i dont understand why denmark is not in the HAQ list, our healthcare is free, only need to pay for medication which we also get prices lowered

  39. In California I can barley pay for my health insurance every month and I definitely can't afford to actually go to the doctor.

  40. In Indonesia we paid universal insurance that cost $10 per month. We got free healthcare but medical facility is still limited to handle enormous number of people here.

  41. I think japans system is great because one bill is really small if you need something like x-ray you don't have to think even if you have small salary can you pay it. In my country we also have healthcarec system. One doctors visit costs more like 30$ and you have to pay it three times in a year (so three visits and three bills) if you have to go fourth time in a year you don't pay it anymore. This is doctors visits only, no hospitals or anything. If you have to go to hospital you pay what treatments you get there and how long you stay but only up to certain amount (I think it's something a bit under 800$ in a year). So if you are sick a lot and need lot's of treatments this is most you have to pay in a year.

  42. If I go to the hospital here in Canada or my family doctor for that matter it costs me nothing. I pay a monthly premium through my employer and is required to have. The only thing I pay for is medication. My insurance covers 80% so all I pay is 20% or basically a dispensing fee. Even before I had healthcare insurance through my employer I had my own personal one which had the same benefits. I just had shoulder surgery, acromioplasty along with a small rotator cuff tea. This whole thing only cost me 20% of the cost of the immobilizer that I had to wear for 5 weeks. If this was in the states, it would have been around 20-30000……sad

  43. Good health insurance. here in America we prefer to let the poor die…of course burying someone cost at least $10,000 (not counting a grave marker) so I am sure we will come up with a cheaper way to get rid of bodies…maybe we cold turn them in to food

  44. Many jobs here in the US also want to take you off the company insurance so they don't have to pay for you. They also want to cut your hours so you can pay three times what full time pays right now I pay 180 a month but if I was admitted to the hospital the bill would still be up to $5000

  45. I think it would've cost about $800-900. $4800 would be enough to bankrupt a young person, but I guess as you mentioned, japan has a system in place where such a situation won't happen.
    If you earn about $3,2k/month, you pay around $300/month for "insurance" (just taxes).

  46. In Belgium, everyone has to pay for health mutual, mine is 11€/month This amount is charged depending the services you get form the Mutual, not your age, income or other personnal whereabouts, it goes from 7-8€ to 20€/month. This takes care of all hospital bills and others injuries. But you do have to pay the required minimum, upfront or not depending, in general it costs to the patient less than 10% of the bill.

    For example: visit to the doctor, I pay upfront ~25€ and I get 23 back from the mutual.

    I did suscribed a health insurance that costs ~25€/month, that covers all my hospitals bills in private room, free of any upfront payement that covers up to 100% of the bills.

  47. I've had two hospitalizations this year. One in May for 2 weeks, then one I'm still in for going back to June 9th, both for severe cardiac issues. As of this comment tomorrow will be 2 months of being hospitalized for me and I know without insurance, the bill would probably be over $30,000.

  48. In New Zealand most doctors visits are heavily subsided. Hospital visits – treatments generally free. An injury or accident like yours, treatment is free. While recovering from said injury, you get about 2/3rds of your normal salary.

  49. Your accident only set you back $6300? thats actually insane. pretty sure here in the states that would run you 150k+

  50. Man… America is screwed up. I just spent $2k for a relatively minor outpatient surgery AFTER INSURANCE. Meanwhile you literally spent over a month in the hospital, had tests and surgery and hardly payed anything!

    Our healthcare system is out of control expensive.

    My family literally ran out of money trying to treat my mom’s cancer and she passed away because we simply could not afford the care that might have extended her life.

  51. Move to Canada health care is free.

    Hell to Russia they have free health care as well.

    USA is a backwater corrupt nation that only cares about the rich.

  52. I spent week in Denmark at the hospital, ambulance transport, cardiac monitoring, MRI, CT, every day labs… No bill was ever received. I was working there at the time. Paying 48% income tax felt good afterwards, as you still get more "bang for the buck"

  53. That's.. expensive. Going to the doc was cheap, but the insurance you have to pay? Thats a lot per year and something you're forced to pay even though you dont have to go. I mean living in Norway, which I guess is on line with Japan in living costs/salary, or I guess Norway is higher in living cost in general. We pay about $15 for a doctors visit, and about $20-30 for other things.

    However we don't have to pay any insurance. Only insurance we have is through work if accidents were to happen or while you travel outside the country. Not even sure why we even have insurance through our employer, since we have our own insurance card given to us by the government for free if we are abroad, the government will cover the costs of this.

    On top of that everything is free after spending more than around $230 per year, except medications you pick up at the pharmacy. A lot of medication is also on something we call "blue list", meaning that they're free no matter what.

  54. In Canada I pay about 180 a month for both my wife and I, but i have 100% coverage on dental, prescription, pharmacy and other benefits. Also going to the doctors is free. Surgery and hospital time are free (long waiting period if not emergency surgery). I can't however ask for a CT scan without a referral.

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