TRAVEL HEALTH INSURANCE
A lot of questions have come in about travel insurance so I wanted to take a second to talk about that. On the JET Programme you are covered by two different health insurance policies, one is the Japanese national health insurance and one is the SOMPO Japan Insurance Inc.’s Accident Insurance. While traveling away from Japan to a foreign country you are covered by these policies, provided your vacation is less than 30 days.
There are a few basic rules, if you receive treatment for something that you could have received treatment for in Japan, you cannot be reimbursed. That means that you can only be reimbursed for a condition that occurs while on your travels. For example, if you break your leg in Japan and need surgery for it you cannot travel to your home country and be reimbursed for the surgery. However, if you are traveling in your home country and break you leg you can be treated in your home country and be reimbursed for it when you come back to Japan. Additionally, you are unable to be reimbursed for treatment that is preventative in nature; for example you cannot get your teeth cleaned while visiting your home country and then file for reimbursement.
You must pay upfront for medical treatment when traveling abroad and save all documentation that you received, including all receipts and a note from the doctor ‘Attending Physicians Statement’ (you will need to have this translated into Japanese when you get back) that says what kind of treatment you had in the foreign country. When you return to Japan, you will take these documents and file for reimbursement from your health insurance provider. Just be sure to bring all documentation home with you and you should be fine. Our health insurance company WILL NOT make direct payments to a health care provider, they will only reimburse you.
ONLY your health is covered, not your possessions. So if you plan on taking anything with you that is quite valuable you might want to consider enrolling in a separate travel insurance plan that will cover possessions as well as trip cancellations, etc.
TRAVEL INSURANCE COMPANIES
1. World Nomads– For affordable overseas travel insurance when you travel abroad, one popular company is World Nomads. They are endorsed by Lonely Planet and one of the few (easy) services in English that insures residents of Japan. It costs approximately US$30 for two weeks.
2. Insure My Trip– This has been used by some JETs in different prefectures.
3. Travel Guard– Another popular option.
5. Insurance from airline companies – When you make reservations for international flights, some airline companies (E.g. PEACH Airline) might offer insurance services.
If you need additional information about your health insurance policy please consult the JET Programme Accident Insurance Policy Guide.