Private Insurance in Japan: My Medical Reimbursement

By Donnie | Articles

Is it Christmas in September? Nah, I but it kind of feels like it a little bit. I got reimbursed for a large chunk of medical expenses I had from a few months ago. Thanks InterGlobal! Interglobal is one of the health insurance options for people whose contracted work hours fall just below the limit to necessary for the company to assist with the standard, national health insurance.

I got a weird phone call today. Some Japanese company (I think it was my bank) had called me and I couldn’t make out exactly what it was for. I caught the part that it was about a payment, so my stomach did the “oh no, I owe somebody money” flip. I tried my best to converse in Japanese, but there were gaps in my comprehension. Eventually they put on an English speaker on the phone, and yes it was about a payment. Much to my surprise it wasn’t because I owed somebody money at all. Quite the contrary actually.

The Japanese woman on the other end told me that to tell me that someone had sent me money from the U.K.. Huh? I was a little surprised at first. Who do I know in that lives in the UK? Nobody. Nobody that’s going to send me money anyway. I thought to myself that maybe it was the result of a side business that I jump-started a while back and that maybe it was starting to bear fruit. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case either.

Though the worker didn’t tell me how much money it was, she told me that the payment was from InterGlobal and asked if I knew the company that was remitting and why I receiving the money. I explained that InterGlobal was a the private company that took care of my health insurance. After a very short conversation, the woman simply said “Okay. I will clear the payment today.” SWEET! As I recall, I spent quite a bit of money on hospital/medical bills from late May to early June. Turns out I spent more than I thought I did. I have forgotten the percentage that InterGlobal reimburses, but it worked out to be over 70,000 yen (around USD).

The InterGlobal reimbursement process took about four weeks and it was quite a bit of paper work to take care of. I got the email saying that they received all of the paperwork (hospital/clinic invoices, prescription receipts, etc on July, 31st and recieved reimbursement on September 9th, 2011.

I am not at all tempted to blow this money, especially since this coming month, I’ll be taking that 40% blow to my salary in September because of the summer vacation in August. It’s pretty common for ALTs to only make a percentage of their salary during the summer, which is paid out in September. In my case, I’ll be getting 60% of my full salary.

What I intend to do though is to set the money aside and struggle through that September 30th to October 31st period. Doing so will give me an opportunity to set this money aside. I want to try to grow it just a bit, because if I can it would be nearly two, full, rent payments. Just to have the rent money sitting aside, safe and secure will be a great emergency fund. Ideally I’d like to have six months to a year of rent money set aside, but with my current salary, it’d take quite a while to pull that off…but someday…I will.

See you next time,

Donald Ash

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  • Ryan McGuinness

    What a pleasant surprise! Glad to see something go your way. Another great article, thanks D-Ash. 🙂

    • Donald Ash

      Thanks for reading Ryan 🙂

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