About health insurance

Health insurance is a public medical care insurance system designed to provide assistance in the event of sickness or injury, time off from work made necessary by sickness or injury, and childbirth and death.

  • This is a medical care insurance system for salaried employees and other people who work for private sector companies and similar employers, and their families.
  • Health insurance is funded by the insurance premiums paid by insured persons and their employers.

“Health insurance” provides readiness for unforeseen circumstances

Events such sickness or injury, time off from work made necessary by sickness or injury, or childbirth and death can result in unforeseen expenses and threaten one's livelihood due to loss of income. To prepare for such situations, a public medical care insurance system collects insurance premiums paid regularly by its members and draws on these financial resources to fund insurance benefits when people need them. Health insurance is one such public medical care insurance system.

“The health insurance associations” that provide health insurance

A Health Insurance Association is a public corporation that handles the tasks related to providing health insurance. Establishments that employ 700 or more employees on a continual basis or that include 3,000 or more employees in the same types of business or industry are eligible to establish health insurance associations with the permission of the Minister for Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan.

The IBM Japan Health Insurance Association was established on December 1, 1960.

Roles of a Health Insurance Association

1. Insurance benefits: chiefly medical care benefits

Covers medical care costs and pays various benefits for insured persons and their dependents in the event of sickness or injury, time off from work made necessary by sickness or injury, or childbirth and death.

2. Health activities: Improving member health

These activities include efforts to support improvements in the health of insured persons and dependents.
A Health Insurance Association provides various such services, including providing health information, opportunities for various preventative health examinations and use of athletic facilities and lodges.

Autonomous and democratic operations

A Health Insurance Association is run autonomously and democratically within the boundaries specified by the Health Insurance Act, by a board with membership consisting of one-half employer representatives and one-half employee representatives.

The Health Insurance Association organization

Association Committee Like the national parliament, the Association Committee is the highest deliberative organ within the association's organization. It determines what the association will do and how it will do it. It makes decisions on important matters such as rules, insurance premiums, business plans, budgets, and settlement of accounts. The Association Committee membership consists of equal numbers of appointed Committee members chosen by the employer and elected Committee members elected by insured persons.
Board of Directors Much like the national government, the Board of Directors is the body that executes the decisions of the Association Committee. The Board membership consists of equal numbers of directors chosen from the appointed Committee members and elected Committee members.
Chairman of the Board One chairman of the Board is selected from among the directors chosen from appointed Committee members. The chairman represents the association and has the highest level of responsibility for association management.
Managing Directors With the consent of the Board of Directors, the chairman of the Board appoints Managing Directors from among the directors. Managing Directors assist the chairman and handle matters as needed for regular association business management.
Auditors Two Auditors, one chosen from each of the appointed and elected Committee members, audit the association's business execution and financial conditions.