By Yoneyama, 2022 February
Benefit for Temporary Absence From Work Place for Family Nursing Care (介護休業給付金)
If you are covered under the Employment Insurance for 12 months or longer during the past 24 months, and if any one of your family members suffers from injury, disease, or mental disability etc. that requires your constant nursing care (providing assistance for daily life such as walking, discharging and having a meal) for 2 weeks or longer, you will be entitled to this 介護休業給付金 to compensate for your lost income.
Amount of the benefit is calculated as follows:
Your daily salary when you began the temporary absence x the number of days spent for family nursing care x 67%
There is an upper limit of the days of this nursing care benefit, which is 93 days per one same family member. You could apply for the benefit in three times at the maximum for one same family member as long as the total number of your absent days is 93 days or less. The definition of your family members are your spouse, father, mother, children, spouse’s father and mother, grandfather, grandmother, brothers, sisters and grandchildren. This benefit cannot coexist with any other benefit like childcare benefit etc.
Now, we would like to talk about Japan’s health insurance (健康保険) and its benefits.Japan adopts a universal health care system meaning everyone in Japan is required to participate in the nation’s health insurance system by law. There are, however, different insurers depending on your working status.If you are employed, you are supposed to be health-insured by either National Health Insurance Association(全国健康保険協会) or Health Insurance Union(健康保険組合).If you are employed by a large corporation, your insurer may be a health insurance union run by your company or its group company.If you are employed by an SME, your insurer may be a prefectural branch of the National Health Insurance Association. Monthly health insurance premium rate slightly varies prefecture by prefecture in case of National Health Insurance Association. For example, if your company belongs to the Tokyo Branch of National Health Insurance Association, the rate for JFY2021 was 9.84% of your monthly salary, while if your company belongs to the Hokkaido Branch, the rate was 10.45%.A half of the premium is withheld from your monthly salary and the remaining half is paid for by your company.If you have dependents including your spouse and children, they are also fully covered by your health insurance.
Also, when you turn 40 years old, you need to pay for care insurance premium.Its rate is 1.80% at this moment, and your company bears a half of the premium cost.If you lose your job, your health insurance coverage is also terminated. In order to continue your health insurance coverage, you have the following two options:
1. National Health Insurance (国民健康保険)
2. Optional Continuation Health Program
If you are fired or your company goes to bankruptcy, or quit your company due to any harassment etc., National Health Insurance will alleviate your premium cost to some extent until you find next job. If you leave your company for your own convenience, you could also use National Health Insurance or opt for Optional Continuation Health Program of the original company.
However, your premium cost in either case is doubled because your original company no longer share the cost burden.
High-cost Medical Care Expense System（高額療養費制度）
Although your health insurance shoulders a 70% of the cost of the medical services you receive every time at a clinic, hospital, dentist or drug store as long as the services are covered under the insurance, your burden (30%) might add up to be so high if you need to receive such services so frequently or you are hospitalized for an operation or something like that.
There is a limit of your medical cost burden thanks to High-cost Medical Care Expense System that sets a monthly cost limit on an individual basis.
The above chart describes how the upper-limit cost system works for an individual insured person. If you have dependent(s), you are allowed to combine your burden of your dependents’ monthly medical charges with your own as your total monthly medical expense in front of the above defined monthly limits.
Meal Expenses during hospitalization（入院時食事療養費制度）
If you are hospitalized for a week or for some period of time, 70% of all your medical expense is covered by your health insurance. Besides, as we discussed last week, if an aggregated amount of your cost burden of such medical expenses per month exceeds a certain upper limit, such extra cost is paid for by the insurance. At the hospital, you receive meal services during the hospitalization, and your health insurance covers extra cost over standard meal cost share per meal. In other words, you need to bear the standard meal cost during the hospitalization.
The standard meal cost share is 460 yen per meal. Depending on the income level, the cost share becomes smaller as you see in the following chart:
If you and your family members are covered by your health insurance and if you or any of your family members dies due to a cause that has nothing to do with your work, your health insurance organization will provide you with a burial fee in the amount of 50,000 yen. If you die for your work-related reason, compensation is fully paid for by the Industrial Accident Insurance. If you die for non-work-related reason and if you are alone in Japan, an actual burial cost up to maximum 50,000 yen is paid to any person who takes care of your funeral.