Japan to phase out health insurance cards by December 2024

The Japanese government is set to phase out the current health insurance cards by December 2024 in favor of integrating them into the My Number social security and tax identification cards. This move comes as the government aims to streamline and modernize its systems, making it more convenient for citizens to access necessary services.

Initially, the government had planned to do away with the current health insurance cards in autumn 2024. However, sources reveal that the new target date of December 2024 is being considered to allow local governments ample time for necessary preparations. An official decree from the government formalizing the abolition schedule is expected to be announced shortly.

Despite the push for full integration, the use of My Number cards as health insurance certificates has been slow to catch on. Recent data shows that only 4.5 percent of patients utilized the My Number cards as health insurance certificates in October. This indicates a low uptake and highlights the need for increased awareness and promotion of the system.

The My Number system, introduced in 2015, was designed as a way to consolidate personal identification and taxation information into a single card. The Japanese government had hoped that by combining health insurance details into this system, it would simplify administrative processes and enhance efficiency for both citizens and authorities.

Local governments throughout Japan will need to prepare for the transition to the integrated cards, which will require significant coordination and communication with residents. Efforts are already underway to ensure that the public is adequately informed about the upcoming changes and to address any concerns or questions they may have.

The move to integrate health insurance details into the My Number system represents a significant step toward a more streamlined and centralized approach to personal identification and social services in Japan. However, the slow adoption rate of the My Number cards for health insurance purposes underscores the importance of engaging the public and promoting the benefits of the new system.

As the government continues to work towards the full integration of health insurance cards into the My Number system, there will be a focus on addressing any challenges and barriers to adoption. This will include targeted outreach campaigns, educational initiatives, and ongoing support for individuals as they navigate the transition to the new system. Overall, the aim is to create a more efficient and user-friendly experience for citizens as they access vital health and social services.


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