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Gov't considers compulsory private health insurance for int'l Olympic visitors

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Implementation cold be a mess, this being Japan. Many of the people would buy policies from non-Japanese insurers that Japanese authorities dont know about and thus wouldn't recognize. Japan's govt and industry are notoriously narrow-minded when it comes to accepting foreign documentation and certification.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How much do they intend to charge these people for health insurance? Most spectators will only be in Japan for a week or two. A week in hospital is around ¥250-500,000 ‘if’ they get sick.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not that anyone is coming but athletes would already be insured as would any traveller, just not from Japan. Because, get this, people coming are not from Japan.

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All together now: "O-MO-TE-NASHI!!!"

The idea of requiring visitors to have private health insurance is not a bad one in itself, as long as the health system drags itself into the 21st century and makes it easy and smooth to get pre-treatment approval, and that all Japanese hospitals can provide the necessary information and documentation for insurance claims quickly, and in English. This will then make it easy for many to claim directly, and for others to get translation from English to their language is more straightforward.

But actually the reason for it being classified as a dangerous infectious disease is called public health, the idea being that untreated infectious people are a threat to everyone in the country, so access to treatment is made easy for OUR protection. This is the same as with other public health hazards like tuberculosis, and makes the country safer for all of us. Failure to cover treatment means sick people without the means to pay for it are vectors of the disease and spread it to others.

Anyway, isn't the J-gov the one that's so keen to put on this super-spreader event in the middle of a pandemic, against all common sense? If they want to protect Japan, then just cancel the damn thing already. If not, they should take responsibility for the consequences. Many visitors may bring coronavirus in, but many more may get it while in Japan, so they should be protected by public health measures.

And yes, J-social insurance does cover your health treatment overseas, as in Japan.

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The government should sell health insurance at the airports. Those arriving with it can then buy it

What an outstanding arr

ival experience, imagine having to deal with health insurance terms and conditions after a 12 hour flight.

Just get one online or at departure floor prior to a flight.

If your country has a reciprocal health deal with Japan, as some do is that an exemption?

I do agree when traveling heath insurance is a must, but to make it a requirement for entry to an international event, hardly a welcome mat for a two week visit.

The EU has such a common and reciprocal agreement. I think it would be possible for Japan and potential partner states under a certain framework (e.g. CPTPP).

The issue is never limited to the Olympics or particular international events. If you open borders and welcome invound visitors primarily for socioeconomic reasons, reforms are necessary to fill loopholes or minimize abuse of the local healthcare system. According to an inquiry by the tourism agency, about 30% of foreign visitors had no travel insurance (in 2017). Several hospitals have reported unpayment cases for their services (often time they were at emergency whose overall costs may amount to over millions yen).

治療費を踏み倒し平気で母国にトンズラする「トンでも観光客」の実態 日本の病院は泣き寝入り

https://gendai.ismedia.jp/articles/-/56050

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wouldn't travel to the US without travel insurance. 50K-100K for a broken arm. No insurance sends people bankrupt. Seems reasonable to me. Why should taxpayers pay for visitors medical bills?

Taxpayers shouldn't have to pay. But patients shouldn't have to pay 50K-100K for a broken arm to begin with. Not sure how you find that reasonable.

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No reason to get worked up about this because, one, there will be no 2021 Olympics and two, if there were, only athletes, federations, staff and media will come and they will have coverage.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yep, huge additional costs will surely make it even more magnetic and attractive....lol

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If a million people visit Japan and 1 or 2 need medical treatment, is that too big a price to pay? And if some abuse the system it's really not a blip. There are far more other countries that you would consider before Japan. I pay insurance in JP and the number of Windows I have to visit, the complications, The amount of people involved is astounding, waiting a whole day. Then there is payment at least 3 or 4 people pass the file around before after a stupid amount of time I'm called to another window. Really you would have to enjoy watching people do little while looking busy to try to get a free ride.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

How about instead considering cancelling the games that no one in the world cares about.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Aside from the Olympics, I believe that health care covering potential accidents that occur in visiting locations should be borne by all foreign travellers to Japan. There have been cases of free-riders who obtained (expensive care without payments at the Japanese hospital but left for home.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

One more reason foreign athletes aren't going to come for the Games.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I was being sarcastic. Just 2024 Tokyo Olympics!!!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

In this day and age its not unreasonable to expect tourists to have travel insurance in general, so thats fair enough...but stop holding onto the Olympic fairy train already...

For private health insurance to cover the treatment cost, either the virus needs to be reclassified or related laws must be amended, the sources said.

So why dont the politicians amend the said law...thats what they get paid for supposedly...not to sleep in their Diet chairs.

The issue of public expenditure surfaced after the mass infection aboard the Diamond Princess. About 700 people were infected while the cruise ship was docked in Yokohama and quarantined in February

So they had almost a year to get moving on ammending that law and of course did jack all, TIJ....

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Has anyone actually experienced trying to reclaim medical expenses incurred in Japan from overseas?

During my initial travels to this country, I experienced a bad allergic reaction and needed to be hospitalized.

In Japan I spent the first day of that experience being literally passed around from one hospital to another as I did not have local health insurance.

When a hospital finally treated me, they insisted on a cash payment of 200,000 yen before i could leave.

On return to my country of origin, I spent six months requesting information and getting it translated both from J to E and E to J, only to have the claim cancelled as I did not put a tick in the box next to "Do you have any allergies" on the application form I did not know I had an allergy to undercooked Shitake at the time, but that is what it turned out to be.....

I hope that since the event is over 20 years ago, the insurance system has matured enough to handle such cases but I know that the antiquated, decentralized medical records system here is certainly a formidable barrier to any overseas insurance company looking for proof of treatment.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It makes sense to have any visitor to have their own insurance when they travel. This will discourage mass tourism and "begpackers". Traveling to certain Western countries always required health insurance with medical evacuation and repatriation. Not sure why Japanese public agreed to shoulder the expenses for covid19 treatment of visitors though it seems like a good compassionate gesture but a lot of locals need financial assistance with many going out of business.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Surely the Olympic minister, Organizers had this topic fixed years ago after being notified large amounts of visitors might visit Tokyo in August 2020? Now in November 2020 it’s suddenly an issue when it’s probable a handful may or may not come. Doesn’t seem too much actual planning went into this simozel. And you can claim the virus is why now. But if it does happen a whole lot less people will bother than pre virus.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

When they connect NHI with MyNumber it may definitely reduce "free riders". On the other hand doctor cannot refuse to help someone in need so some kind of system is needed. Travel Insurance for visitors should be compulsory.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Raise Japanese tax to 40%. Health insurance should pay for Japanese to have hospital treatment in the Philippines or Indonesia when our hospitals are full here.

Actually, normal Japanese Health insurance probably would pay for hospital treatment in the Philippines or Indonesia. At least it used to. I know that years ago, Japanese insurance would reimburse insured people treated abroad the same amount as the treatment would cost in Japan. So, if you needed treatment in a low medical cost place like Japan, you’d be ok. But, for the U. S. you’d better have travel insurance.

they are guests...

Nonsense. If they don’t have insurance, and need treatment without the ability to pay, they are freeloaders

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If your country has a reciprocal health deal with Japan, as some do is that an exemption?

I do agree when traveling heath insurance is a must, but to make it a requirement for entry to an international event, hardly a welcome mat for a two week visit.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why is this needed? We have been told it was safe to hold the Olympics.

The need for insurance when traveling isn’t just Olympic or COVID related. There are plenty of other illnesses and injuries that can occur when traveling.

It isn’t the responsibility of people paying in to the Japanese insurance system’s responsibility to pay for travelers healthcare costs.

Travel insurance for coming to Japan would cost peanuts.

This should be a requirement for every traveler all the time.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@zichi

The government should sell health insurance at the airports. Those arriving with it can then buy it

What an outstanding arrival experience, imagine having to deal with health insurance terms and conditions after a 12 hour flight.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

The government should sell health insurance at the airports. Those arriving with it can then buy it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Raise Japanese tax to 40%. Health insurance should pay for Japanese to have hospital treatment in the Philippines or Indonesia when our hospitals are full here.

they are our guests...

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Don't most reasonable people purchase private travel health insurance before going on a trip abroad?

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Aside from the Olympics, I think that all international travellers into Japan should carry health insurace covering possible incidents happening in visiting places. There have been cases of free-riders who got (expensive) treatment at Japanese hospital yet left for home without payments.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

I wouldn't travel to the US without travel insurance. 50K-100K for a broken arm. No insurance sends people bankrupt. Seems reasonable to me. Why should taxpayers pay for visitors medical bills?

12 ( +14 / -2 )

I agree, and any payments for healthcare treatment should be made by cash or credit card on the spot.

Japan has classified the virus as a "designated infectious disease," meaning those infected can technically be treated for free, regardless of nationality.

Borders have been already reopen to 11 countries since the beginning of this month while there have been many positive cases confirmed among visitors.

空港検疫「陽性」最多 五輪ありきの“なし崩し入国緩和”でコロナ感染加速

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/6886e33a430f51100d7da6a2084d93e4abd24cc5

Do we support that public money is spent for treatment regardless of nationality (visa status)? Otherwise we should review and change the category of covid-19. Under the current category, covid is designated alongside HIV or Ebola.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Great comments.

Karma is fantastic at times.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The government is mulling lifting the standard 14-day quarantine period for Tokyo Olympics visitors from countries and regions with low infections

At the moment, if the Olympics were held in a diffenet country with the same rule, then Japanese visitors would not be allowed.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

This is gonna bite them in the behind for sure. How many less visitors are they going to get with this idiotic rule. Unless that’s the point...

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Why is this needed? We have been told it was safe to hold the Olympics.

23 ( +25 / -2 )

Got to get money somehow after spending so much. Welcome to the no fun Olympics. Where is your proof of insurance and virus free cards. Have a look around and please leave ASAP. Stop smiling check the rules page 162 paragraph 12. Any smiling will be taken as cultural insensitivity.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

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