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May 2023

Japan: Govt to set up national health insurance database by 2020

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Dec 2017

Japan Life & Health

The Health Ministry plans to assign an identification number to each person covered by Japan’s universal public health insurance system. The changeover will affect more than 100 million insured people.
   Under the ministry’s plan, an ID number of around 16 digits will be assigned to each insured person and their information will be centrally managed by the Health Insurance Claims Review & Reimbursement Services and the All-Japan Federation of National Health Insurance Organizations, which is the central body for municipal insurers.
   The new system will allow the insured to check their information online, and medical institutions to share patients’ medical treatment and drug administration records, reported Jiji Press citing officials.
   They expressed hope that the measure will promote the public awareness of health, which in turn would contribute to the curbing of medical expenses.
   Public health insurance certificates with the ID numbers will be issued from 2019. The changeover to the new numbers is expected to be complete by July 2020.
   A hurdle to the implementation of the new system is the costs involved to change the computer systems at the insurers involved in the public health insurance system.
   At present, ID numbers in the public health insurance system, is assigned by family. Information on the insured, such as their names and medical history, are kept by their insurers. When insured people move to other insurers for reasons such as changes of job and residence, their information kept at the old insurers is not transferred to the new insurance providers. A 
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