Update: Japan’s Health Insurance Card to be Abolished & Integrated Into the My Number Card. Aug 8, 2023

This article provides details on the final plan for the Integration of Japan’s Health Insurance Card into the My Number Card and related system. The National Health Insurance Card will be abolished in 2024.

Employers must be aware of the transition to the My Number Card system: see this Verse article for a summary of the My Number System.  Staff, employees (full and part-time) and contractors will inevitably have questions for employers regarding the transition to the My Number Card, and in particular, about their National Health Insurance.

Verse Corporation publishes articles on timely issues in Japanese Social Welfare and Labour Law. Japanese payroll, source deductions, and all labor law work & pay rules regarding compensation, social insurance, absenteeism & sick leave, etc. require strict adherence. Labor/employment law can be complex, even for Japanese companies, and must be handled mostly in Japanese. As with all social welfare and labor law matters in Japan, please seek out professional Sharoushi (Certified Labour Law and Social Insurance Attorney.)

The following is an excerpt from the Aug 8, 2023 Final Report, in Japanese only. 

As stated by the Japanese Governments Digital Agency responsible for the new system:

The My Number Card is a fundamental tool for a digital society that enables safe and secure identification, and is the most important infrastructure for promoting the digitalization of society as a whole. By using the My Number Card to visit medical institutions and pharmacies instead of health insurance cards, patients can receive more appropriate medical care based on their own health and medical data.

As the public and medical personnel are made aware of these benefits, the integration of the My Number Card with the health insurance card will be promoted, with the aim of abolishing the health insurance card in the fall of 2024.

The following is a condensed, machine translated- summary of integration efforts – please be sure to always check MHLW or the Digital agency (see resources below) for up-to-date details. 

System for issuing Individual Number Cards

Regular issuance and limited express issuance can be applied for at municipal windows.  In cases where it is necessary to obtain a card promptly due to loss, etc., cards can be sent directly to the applicant from J-LIS, (Japan Agency for Local Authority Information Systems) the issuing entity of the card. A new system has been established that can issue cards within a week (minimum 5 days) of application. It is expected that we will respond to a total of about 3.6 million requests/year (about 10,000/day), including reissuance due to newborns, loss, etc., and those who have moved from overseas (about 1.5 million/year).

Handling Qualification confirmations, etc. after the abolition of health insurance cards

  • Based on online qualification verification with the Individual Number Card, if you are unable to receive online qualification verification with the Individual Number Card, you will confirm the insured qualification with the qualification confirmation form.
  • In principle, the qualification confirmation will be promptly issued by the insurer based on the person’s application. However, for the time being, a minor insurance card (My number card registered for the use of health insurance card. For those who do not hold the same below) and those who other insurers deem it necessary (Note), it will be issued by the insurer regardless of the application of the person. If you have a minor insurance card but need care for elderly people, people with disabilities, etc. who need nursing care and people with disabilities who have been issued a qualification confirmation by application, it is assumed that it will be issued regardless of the person’s application at the time of renewal.
  • The validity period of the qualification certificate shall be set by each insurer within 5 years.
  • The items in the qualification confirmation are divided into mandatory items and optional items.
  • As for the form of the qualification certificate, in order to make the most of the existing system, there are three sizes: 1 card type, 2 postcard type (same size as the elderly beneficiary card and the insurance card of the late elderly medical care system), 3A4 type, and each insurer can choose. The material should be paper or plastic.
  • Based on the fact that the registration of the health insurance card of the Individual Number Card is an arbitrary procedure, for those who wish to cancel the registration, the system is modified so that the cancellation procedure can be performed arbitrarily on the condition of applying for a qualification confirmation.
  • With the abolition of health insurance cards, the holder of the minor insurance card can easily grasp his/her qualifications, etc., so that the holder of the minor insurance card can easily grasp his/her qualifications, etc., when acquiring a new qualification or changing the burden ratio, etc., write the name, such as the name, the insured person’s insurer’s number, the name, the name of the insurer, the name of the insurance, etc. Issue a notification of the posted qualification information

Other responses to practical issues in online qualification verification after the abolition of health insurance cards

  • Handling of issued health insurance cards. After the abolition of the health insurance card, there are transitional measures that are considered to be valid for up to 1 year (if the validity period arrives first, it will be the validity period), but in principle, for the same goes for the employer’s insurance that does not have an effective period, as well, up to 1 We will establish transitional measures that are deemed to be valid for the year (measures by ministerial ordinance)
  • Responses to cases where online qualification verification with My Number Card cannot be performed. In order for the insured person who is paying the insurance premium to receive the necessary insurance medical care by paying the appropriate copayment (March, etc.), medical care by presenting the screen of the insured person qualification information of the medical insurance of the Maina Portal and filling in the insured qualification application form As a counter burden of institutions, etc., it showed the request for the payment of the copayment ( 30%, etc.) claimed by the patient and how to claim medical fees at that time. In addition to making this handling known to the medical field, we will promote efforts to inform the data registration status to the online qualification confirmation system when the insurer changes his/her insurance qualification due to job change, etc.

My number card for infants

In order to be able to issue a card as soon as possible after birth, based on the revision of the My Number Act, etc., so that you can apply for an Individual Number Card without a face photo for applications under 1 year old (the validity period is until your 5th birthday) in accordance with the submission of birth notification, The procedures will be reviewed by the fall of 2020 and will be subject to limited express issuance.

Improving the function of the card, etc.

  • The electronic certificate service for smartphones will be installed on Android devices in May 2020, and we will expand the corresponding service sequentially. In addition, we will also consider the realization of iOS devices. Aiming to start operation of online qualification verification by smartphone equipped with My Number Card function
  • In order to update the card smoothly, we will consider further details on whether the card renewal after adult can be made online after organizing the identity verification guarantee level required for the Individual Number Card.
  • We aim to introduce the next My Number Card with a view to the end of Reiwa 8. In that case, we will make a necessary review of the encryption algorithm, ticket design including, ticket description items, etc., as well as the handling of already issued cards and the impact on card users’ institutions due to switching new and old cards. 

This article provided details on the final plan for the Integration of Japan’s Health Insurance Card into the My Number Card.

Supporting resources for this article include:

My Number System Resources

Final Study Group Home Page

Final Report Document