Last week I received a letter from national health insurance with my fees for this year. In Japan, health insurance fees are calculated from your income of last year, not the current one. In the last two years I always paid the minimum since I did not have any income, but now that I have to pay myself, I promptly got an upgrade on my health insurance fees.

I now have to pay almost double what I paid last year! Compared to what I would have to pay in Europe it is nothing, but still… At least I don’t have to do anything since I allowed automatic deduction from my bank account; the insurance company will adjust the deduction themselves. That’s a bonus, always.

I wonder what happens if people retire for example, and have much less income from one year to the next. Will they still have to pay full insurance fees on whatever they made the year before? I remember that one of my housemates in the old house constantly struggled with health insurance and tried to convince them that he really didn’t make as much money as they thought. Obviously I have no intentions of retiring any time soon, but it would be interesting to find out…