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 Replies to “How Much I PAY at a Japanese Hospital on Japan’s Healthcare System”

  1. August 15, 2019 Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, California is closing (or gradually in the next ten years). This was discussed on the radio show called 'Forum' on KQED 88.5 FM in San Francisco, California. This hospital was named after a nurse, Alta Bates, who served in the Civil War. About two students a day arrive by ambulance from U.C. Berkeley, it was said on the show. The ambulance (and for everyone up and down the 80 Freeway corridor) will have to go to Oakland hospital or join Kaiser (which is very expensive and has a mixed track record over the decades). I've heard that Kaiser is good for the most serious, chronic conditions, but for everything else it is too expensive, and there is too much waiting time. Volunteers run a traveling medical program called RAM Remote Access Medicine, discovered by accident by a medical insurance executive, Wendell Potter, while visiting his parents in his rural home town. This made him quit his job, become an activist and author and go on 60 Minutes. Ideally, you should try to translate all his speeches and books into Japanese. Prepare yourself for Americans trying to topple and replace your health care insurance program with the USA 'choices.' The KQED Forum show also mentioned that about 30 hospitals a year have been closing since about 1980 because it is all profit motive decision making.

  2. But but… But they told me that if the government use taxes to help you pay Heath care the country automatically become socialist…

  3. My son was 6 weeks when he was in the hospital for 2 weeks for kidney and liver problems. After he was let out they sent us the bill and it was 47 thousand. Thankfully he had medicaid to cover it. Then I had my gallbladder removed a few years ago. 4 days at the hospital was 18k in total. It sucks here when it's cheaper to just go ahead and die.

  4. free here in Canada. Problem with systems like the US is that it is a country based solely upon making as much money as possible and looking after #1. There is no social responsibility and welfare for the overall well being of its citizens which in turn creates and fuels a better country.

  5. While other countries are improving their healthcare system and trying to keep their citizens alive US citizens will call anyone who wants anything other than what we have now a commie, socialist, traitor whatever and will call them lazy, poor, leechers, etc. Hilarious how people say they are "true Americans" when they tell other Americans to go fuck themselves when they need help.

  6. In Canada, we call it MSP, I’m trying to know the term of it but what it is, when you have MSP for medical, your company and lots of companies in Canada pays 80/20 or 90/10. The smaller is what you pay but it’s not big, only depends on what happened. We have free healthcare, it’s still pricey but the MSP covers majority of it or it covers all of it. Getting medication is expensive but only what you need. Every province and territory has provincial health care so it’s a big benefit to have and if you have a good paid job, there are lots of chances that you don’t pay a cent. If I missed something, someone correct me or add on to what I said!

  7. When you are paying $6300 for such a severe injury, and a super long stay in the hospital. I implant one tooth in the US and have to pay $1000 after the cover with insurance.

  8. In Canada it’s free to go to the doctor for anything (with citizenship), X-rays, mri, ultrasounds, blood tests is all free

    It only costs money for medication and certain treatments
    But my mom was too lazy to bring me when I was a kid so we wouldn’t go unless I was dying

  9. If you get hospitalized in germany you have to pay 10€ per day. But maximum they can charge you is for 15 days no matter how long you stay in hospital. Gotta love our healthcare system. Also your workplace has to pay you even if you are sick for 6 weeks. And even after the 6 weeks you get so called krankengeld from your health insurance which is 67% of your gross monthly income. I think we together with canada have the most social healtcare system.

  10. We also have this pay your share and use it in need system.Government run.Sometimes a pain in time (I waited almost 2-3 hours in in 1-2 times for an examination or getting a series of labor tests before my knee surgery), but you must no pay a dime.And it is a military hospital though.Even my LCA replacement /plastica were "free" (actually me and mostly my employer is paying a fee monthly, so I make the system pay now) with 1.5 weeks in the hospital.Not a Hilton , but with proper conditions.And this is what really matters.

  11. Health care in the US makes almost anywhere look like paradise.

    In Canada, I can go to the doctor whenever and never pay a cent. A serious health problem or accident will cost nothing except (almost ironically) the ambulance…

    That said, each province varies a little bit and there are a few exceptions (dentists and optometrists aren't covered).

  12. My husband had a ruptured appendix . This was about 18 years ago. He was in the hospital for 12 days. It was almost 20 grand. Thankfully I had great insurance through my work and we had to just pay the 300 dollar deductible. I see many people going into debt over medical Bill's. The insurance I have now definitely not great and I try not to go to doctors too often because I cant afford the copay and medications.

  13. I'm a doctor in Italy. In public hospitals you just pay a ticket(a little tax depending on which service you need( 0-200,euros). In case of severe conditions there is nothing to pay.

  14. Wow that's freaking cheap. Only $4800 for open heart surgery??? I paid more than that just for the damn tests on my heart. Maybe I should move to Japan

  15. Can someone explain to me why me why the cost goes up monthly depending on how much you make? It doesn't seem to make much sense as why would I pay more than the next guy for the same insurance just because I make more money. Thats not my fault. (Im probably way off base here which is why I'm asking)

  16. Progressive health insurance fee. Japan has highest percentage of senior citizens and also one of highest debt ratio (debt/GDP ratio). I had major gallbladder surgery six years ago and got the hospital bill of 86,000 USD but pay nothing so I think I am one of the lucky ones in the States who still has good health insurance at no cost through employer.

  17. I'm from Denmark and here we pay a lot of tax, but we go to the hospital for free.
    There are a few things that you need to pay for though. For example I had to get a hepatitis vaccine from my doctor, for a vacation that I'm going on soon and that cost me a total of around 75$
    But I have also tried to be hospitalised for around 4 days or so, totally for free!

  18. A couple months back i had to go to the emergency room for strep throat. I only spend a few hours there and it is costing me over $880. I was given and I.V., some meds, and x-ray. I couldn't eat anything or drink anything for a while. All this in Florida, its crazy expensive for health care and for health insurance you have to pay an arm and a leg to cover pre existing health problems.

  19. Went to the ER for a panic attack, they didn’t give me any meds. I left after resting for a hour. They charged me over $3k. Stay in Japan man lol

  20. Damn, it cost me 1500$$ just for the doctor to say "Yes you are having a allergic reaction to X" when half of my face was swollen, and the only thing they said is you can take any of the allergy medications you can get from the store they also have me one of those inhalers which was probably what cost the most.

  21. you have to be insane to move from japan to US especially when health care is good and cheap. there is nothing more important than your health

  22. n Spain, we pay 0 euros to go to doctor visits, hospital stays, operations,procedures, medication, tests, exams and more

  23. In Norway you have to pay going to the doctor, but the hospital is free. For us, it is all about the taxes. So I rarely go to the doctor, I kind of wait until I feel super bad and go to the ER 😂

  24. I was In a car accident 14 years ago . i stayed in hospital for 3 days , not even icu . just nurse care n xrays n it came out to 45,00 usd . I was shook . I live in California and I have the state insurance for low income so I didnt have to pay . for subpar care . to damn much

  25. In my country (The Faroe Islands) going to the hospital and getting treatment is ''Free'' because we pay extra tax but get free healthcare in return. People that I know including me don't go to the doctors for colds and bad stomachs etc. I only go if i'm on the verge of dying 😉

  26. Excellent video. Thank you. How about the dentists in Japan? Root canals, crowns, etc? The population is aging and dental needs go up. IN the USA, I read in USA News that about 25% of Americans over 65 will need ALL their teeth removed! So dental care is important. USA healthcare is EXTREMELY expensive. Lots of Americans now go to Mexico along the border for dental care, like Nuevo Progreso where it is extremely safe and get a root canal + crown for total of less then $450.

  27. The healthcare in Israel is the best, for 25$ monthly (for avarage income of 3000$) you get 99% of any medical treatment for free.
    Including any surgery, even transplants

  28. Do they except non- Japan citizens to live in Japan? How do they treat you. Also, can you become Japanese citizen?

  29. Hay buddy new to the channel I love everything about Japan except one thing witch is whaling. Dude I was wondering why you seem to be so super chill when you get excited. my heart truly goes out to you, live a long healthy life, you are an inspiration to me and my family

  30. I live in Florida and for a burning in the stomach I went to the hospital the total of the hospital for only 1 hour was 5,000 dollars and the ambulance 2,300 mind you I live 5 minutes away from the hospital

  31. In Florida, with INS, that would have put you out of pocket about $80K. That's depending on the INS. Plus, if the overall gross cost went above $1M, most companies have the option to drop you now. Almost all the protections put in place under the last president have been entirely rolled back. Stay in Japan.

  32. 'Like other countries like the US'? There are no other countries like the US. Japan is like everywhere else, it's the US that is the exception Paolo!
    Here in NZ accident care is free, child healthcare and maternity care is free. Doctors visit is $40.
    It's cheaper than Japan!
    NZ doesn't have regular health checks built-in like in Japan, however.

  33. Here in Italy is FREE even the consultation , its free, you just pay taxes which are not expensive as an insurance oh, and about the surgery you had , obviusly it would be FREE damn you spende a lot of money for healthcare!

  34. In Germany you pay public health insurance directly from your gross salary (taxes etc are also taken from your gross salary) and the company you work for pays the other half. But there is a cap, if you reach a certain salary you don't pay more health insurance. Prices seem similar as in Japan for monthly fee. Upside: your entire immediate family is insured as well, i.e. spouse & kids. Unless of course the spouse has a job, then they pay based on their salary.

    You don't pay anything at doctors or hospitals unless you want additional services. So if we take your accident in Nagano (that looked really bad, i hope you recovered fully) from what i can tell that should cost you nothing in Germany. However: based on your video I'd say Japan is much better when it comes to annual preventive checks and how thorough they are.

    Dentists are an exception here, while public insurance pays for those as well, they'll pay only the bare minimum, which is never a good idea (crappy materials etc) so many people do have additional private dental insurance for about 30-50€ per month. It's worth it though because a tooth replacement for example can easily set you back 1.5-2k

  35. With the declining birth rate in Japan along an increasing segment of elderly people, how much of an effect does it have for its healthcare system in terms of affordability for both government and citizens?

  36. The insurance premiums have to be figured into what one actually pays….so it's not really that cheap. Unless doctors, nurses, hospital building and medical equipment makers are being paid slave wages then the costs are all the same. It would be nice to know how Japan keeps costs down, for instance, do all doctors have to pay malpractice insurance or does the govt exempt them from that and are malpractice claims handled in public courts or arbitration? Does govt pay the successful mal practice claims out of the medical insurance pool of money? One also has to consider that Japanese are extraordinarily healthy compared to say, Americans, and so as a group place less burden or cost onto the medical insurance system allowing for lower wages.

    Simplistic explanations are insufficient.

  37. I'm in the UK so its free, but if I got stomach ache I would wait three days before I would see a doctor, depending on severity.

  38. It's similar to Sri Lanka. also Sri Lanka offer free medication if u visit government hospitals but the quality isn't that great compared to private hospitals

  39. I pay $700 a month for me and my family. But I can go to the doctor whenever I feel like and only pay a $20 copay. This $20 copay covers xray, blood test and so on. If i get a doctor referral, I dont pay the refereed doctor as its still covered with the first copay. And talk about fast, i can get in to see the doctor 10 mins early. Get my blood work and xray done then to the pharmacy and be out of there in 45 mins tops. Yes its a lot of money, but what I have learned from experience is that ether you pay some now and get really good insurance or you pay a whole lot more later.

  40. Not sure what is the big fuss about the US health system. I dislike it a lot, I'll admit, but it really depends on your insurance. My previous insurance only had a $250 deductible, and I was diagnosed with cancer so I didn't pay more than $300 it 400 for everything. But my current one has a 850 deductible. If you don't have insurance, then yes you're paying a lot, but it really depends on the company you work for and their health plan. It's cheap for some, expensive for others.

  41. In FL, it ended up costing us 30k for a two day stay and a very short and uncomplicated birth. Thankfully we didn't have to pay that because of military health insurance but not everyone is that lucky

  42. Meanwhile in the US no one dies because of going bankrupt due to doctor bills but people die in socialized countries due to rationed health care

  43. So jealous! Can't wait to move to Japan, just waiting to qualify for the highly skilled worker visa and will be leaving the corrupt and broken health care system in the us behind. Not the English teacher type, so I would prefer the highly skilled worker visa which allows workers with a MBA, relevant work experience, and Japanese language ability have the fast track to a permanent resident visa. The investor visa is good the entrepreneurs too. If I were you I would stay in Japan and avoid the bankruptcy court, crime and sky high living costs.

  44. In Europe it's free in most countries if it's not cosmetic. It can sometimes include cosmetic surgeries in case of accidents and some other reasons.Medicine is sometimes free and sometimes you have to pay. 4800 dollars is insane.

  45. Here in the United States just the insurance deductible amount alone can ruin people's lives. Then to make it worst there are penalties on your tax return for every month that you don't have health insurance coverage.

  46. Here in New York State (upstate), I got Medicaid back in February 2009 when I moved from Florida. Florida did not want to help me with my medical bills when I became unable to work as they give Medicaid only to those that are on Social Security. New York State gave me full Medicaid coverage. In late July 2009, my mental illness got to the point where I had to be hospitalized for eight months. Thankfully, NY Medicaid covered the entire hospital stay. It also covered all of my outpatient care (and continues to do so). Catholic Charities of Broome County helped me with filing a new disability claim with Social Security. In three months after filing the new claim, I got approved for insured disability (SSDI). Since I was living in a transitional group home, I also got SSI (uninsured disability, comes instead from the US General Treasury and NYS) until I lived on my own again. Two years after getting Social Security benefits, Medicare kicked in and at that point Medicaid pays for my Medicare premiums, copayments, and deductibles, with the exception of Medicare Part D copays for prescriptions. Fortunately, those copays are only $1.25 for each 30 day supply of generic drugs per prescription. I am on Extra Help for Part D, where the US Government subsidizes the prescription costs. Unfortunately, Medicare and Medicaid does not pay for health care costs outside the USA. But the combination of Medicare and Medicaid means that I do not have to pay any health care costs to doctors and hospitals anywhere in the United States. I am very thankful to have such coverage that very few people in the United States can get.

  47. In the US I know many people who would legitimately rather die than put themselves and their families in debt just for seeking medical attention. The American for-profit healthcare system is a crime against humanity.

  48. A friend of mine had to get her appendix removed and she was only 20 when it happened. 40k smh. She can't go to school know.

  49. In Saudi Arabia hospitals are free for nationals (most hospitals are government) and if you're employed employers are obligated to provide medical insurance. All medical insurance subscriptions cover most medical bills and you only pay 10% OR a maximum of 50 SAR ($13) per visit (whether its a brain surgery or a minor cold)

  50. Can you make a video of why you considered going back to the States?
    I just moved here in Tokyo from USA with my fiance (Native Japanese) and will start family soon.

  51. In philippines, some of the public hospital here will not assist you if dont have money. Even if its emergency they will ignore you,

  52. Stay. In. Japan. We have ObamaCare. It goes up so much every year. Really bad.
    With the accident you had plus the after care. You would have had to pay I would say roughly between $800,000- $1,000,000.00 in medical care here in the US. Not kidding.

  53. Seing it from my German point of view Americans with their terrible, terrible health care system are the only ones to put a price tag on their life and limbs.

  54. And I would never move to a country where it's citizens think they'd have to build a wall around their borders, because it's the best country in the world while fleeing temporally to Canada as a health care refugee! I'd rather hack off my ear, because I know it's being stiched back on without taking a kidney as payment.

  55. I'm in an argument RIGHT NOW because of a meme floating around on FB. People comparing Japan to Detroit (Which doesnt make sense at all).

  56. It all depends on the insurance company and policy that you have in the US. My employer pays nearly all of my insurance premium (75% of it), and my co-pay after a heart attack, stent/cath insertion, multiple MRIs, and the subsequent stay in CICU before they finally turned me loose, had cost me a grand total of $350 USD. That's not a typo.

    Now if I had no insurance, or if I had crappy insurance, things would have been different, obviously.

  57. Single White Male, Non-smoker, non-drinker, no medical history to speak of. As of September 2019, Blue Cross/BS of AZ = $635/month. That's more expensive than my car payment when I still had a balance on it. I don't have the proper vulgar words in my vocabulary to express how much this pisses me off. It's what I like to call "testicle nailingly mad" because I'd rather nail my nuts to a 2×4 than pay $625 a month for nothing. A decade ago this was $204 per month. What changed? Couldn't tell you. Other people will try to tell you, they'll probably blame Obama, but since neither they nor I sit on the board of directors of a health insurer, we can't possibly know. I believe my insurance went from 2 hundo to 6 hundo per month because carrots. It's the best explanation I've been able to come up with in over 20 years. Carrots. Thanks Obama.

  58. Thanks for your information. That's really what I want to know. But another question is, how much health insurance will cost for my wife (under 39 years old) and daughter ( 1 year old ). They both are unemployed and living with (dependent visa) dependent of me.

  59. I live in Canada, home of universal health care. 7 years ago I needed to have surgery and over night stay. Visit the Doctor, blood work and heart test. Paperwork the day of the surgery, 2 hospital gowns (one to hide the typical open back gown) nurse to shave lower groin for the operation, O.R. nurse, Surgeon and guy who handles the meds, not going to try to spell his title, LOL. 2 meals and at least three nurses for the overnight stay. Cost to me was nothing. I had to take 4 weeks off work, lost pay, but got half of that pay back from the federal government because I couldn't work do to the surgery. How's that for no cost health care? Dana, Sussex, New Brunswick, Canada.

  60. In the usa… U have to pay $1000 to $1500 for an aspirin… Thats why pharmacys allways are the better way to feeling well

  61. I am Japanese. The American health system and economic inequality are serious. However, Japan also has serious problems such as a high suicide rate and a declining birthrate and an aging population. However, Japan has excellent medical systems, safety and social infrastructure. America is the most diverse and free country in the world. A country that has created a lot of innovative companies such as Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook. There is no perfect country.

  62. NZ has a pretty solid healthcare system. Most of it is free—like if you had that accident here, you wouldn’t pay a cent for the hospitalisation—provided of course you’re a Kiwi/resident. We don’t really need healthcare insurance here.

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