Fast Work!

stack of papersI must have mentioned it a number of times before, but still: Japanese efficiency never ceases to amaze me! In the beginning of April, I mentioned that I now need new pension and health insurance and that I went to the pension office to subscribe. The nice young lady told me it would take them 3 weeks to process my application, but they were even faster than this! I received all my paperwork back after two weeks and two days. As part of the paperwork, I received a nice blue insurance card and stickers that I can put on the card to indicate that I’m fine in receiving generic medication, something I have not decided yet.

Anyway, I’m now officially enrolled in national health insurance and pension plan. That meant that I needed to go to my ward office and cancel Kyoto city’s health insurance that I had until now, so I would not end up paying twice. I went there last Tuesday with some trepidation, because the last time I had had to go there, there was nobody who spoke English… But everything turned out to be super easy: I simply handed over both insurance cards, the clerk entered something into his computer, made a copy of both cards and returned the blue one to me: “Finished,” he said, and that was that. The whole procedure took less than 5 minutes, including the wait.

Still, I cannot help being a bit cynical now: Officially, I enrolled in national health insurance on April 11. Does that mean, I’ll have to pay the first 10 days of April to Kyoto city’s insurance while at the same time getting a reduction of national insurance for April? Honestly, given the way how Japanese are sticklers for even the tiniest details, I would not be surprised…