Money Back

Japanese currencyLast year, I spent an enormous amount on doctors. My chronic thyroid problem was the smallest issue, but the weekly rehabilitation for my hip added up quickly. Plus the broken tooth that had to be fixed with a crown, and altogether, I spend more than 160.000 yen on doctors and meds last year.

How come, you may ask. Is there no mandatory health insurance in Japan? Yes, there is, but even so, I have to pay 30% of any medicine and doctor’s visit myself. You can’t leave any clinic without paying the bill; but now that I write this, I’m wondering what happens if it’s an emergency or an accident and you don’t have any money on you… Well, nothing I’m keen to find out, to be honest.

In any case, getting seriously sick is quite expensive even in Japan. But there’s an upside to it too: If you spend more than 100.000 yen in a single year, you can get a small part of it reimbursed, 5% of any payments above that threshold, to be precise.

This year, with the reimbursement actually worth the hassle and paperwork, my accountant helped me apply for it and – I’ll get 4025 yen back! No, that won’t make me rich at all, but with my business still lying flat, every little bit helps. Although, to be honest, I would have preferred not to spend all that money on doctors in the first place…