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Ananasboat
May 3rd, 2014, 20:06
So, I have a confession. As this is my first post here, I'm afraid you'll all label me an idiot for the remainder of my JET appointment. That's cool, I deserve it.

My junior year of college I spent a year abroad in Japan. The school I was at forced us to get health insurance. I come from a pretty low-income background so I was poor and wanted to cut as many corners as possible and never paid it. Two months later they stopped sending me bills. When I left, I followed the advice of a friend who claimed that it would be fine to not go back to Town Hall at the end of the year and cancel the health care. So I didn't. I was afraid of not being able to eat because of how little money I had. Those were my options, I thought anyway.

Well, now I'm going back, and I'm prepared for quite the tongue lashing at Town Hall. Does anyone have experience with this sort of thing? I'm planning on bringing about $400 with me to my first trip there to just pay off the existing bill and get it done with. I don't want my BOA to have to deal with it. The health care has been accruing for about two years now, so does $400 seem safe?

Thank you, and sorry for being a total tosser.

osakavamp
May 4th, 2014, 00:33
I made sure not to do this when I studied abroad there for the specific reason of wanting to go back one day. I didn't want anything potentially blocking me from getting a new visa. I don't know if you'll have ramifications aside from what you already said -- a huge fucking bill to pay.


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Ananasboat
May 4th, 2014, 01:18
Haven't thought about it affecting a visa. I mean, I had plans to send the money once my university yelled at me about it (because they said that they would), but they never did. Because of that, I figured it might be fine to just pay it when I got back, as the cost was relatively low (like, 15 bucks a month). Isn't it within the realm of possibility that perhaps I didn't cancel it because I KNEW I was coming back, perhaps to avoid paperwork? I don't know. I hope I can just gaman the mean looks they give me and fork over.

Gizmotech
May 4th, 2014, 09:01
I think this is gonna be one of three things:

a) It's gonna be found out when they process your VISA in a month or two (which may disqualify you)

or

b) It is lost in the city hall of your previous residence area and will never be seen again.

possibly

c) They do know about it, they ask you to pay the bill when you go to city hall to register, and your BoE goes bananas ballistic through the roof.


I highly doubt you will face a tongue lashing over it to be honest. Hope for B, prepare for A and C.

coop52
May 4th, 2014, 10:16
I'd bring a lot more than $400; that should only cover a few months worth of back payments. You might also have to pay late fees. They calculate based on your previous year's salary though, so I'm not really sure how it'd work for a student. Google's showing a 3.5 man minimum yearly payment for students in Tokyo, if that helps. I'd bring double that plus extra for fees.


That is of course assuming they haven't given up on collecting the bills yet.

Ananasboat
May 4th, 2014, 11:45
b) It is lost in the city hall of your previous residence area and will never be seen again.



Actually it's funny you say that, because the city hall who was processing our cancelations had a fire. I'm guessing that's why my school In Japan didn't contact my home university like they said they would.

Hoping it's not option a, but I don't know visa rules.

As for the cost, my first year of insurance only costed ¥9,000, so is $400 really likely not to be sufficient?

Thanks for your help, guys. I was actually assuming I'd get flamed, but you're cool people and I look forward to meeting some of you in Tokyo.

spman2099
May 7th, 2014, 03:18
Actually it's funny you say that, because the city hall who was processing our cancelations had a fire. I'm guessing that's why my school In Japan didn't contact my home university like they said they would.

Hoping it's not option a, but I don't know visa rules.

As for the cost, my first year of insurance only costed ¥9,000, so is $400 really likely not to be sufficient?

Thanks for your help, guys. I was actually assuming I'd get flamed, but you're cool people and I look forward to meeting some of you in Tokyo.

What is "likely sufficient" and what is a slight possibility may be different things. Sure, four hundred may be enough, but you MAY need to pay more. It is probably better to prepare for the worst possible situation.

As for the visa...

Yeah, that may disqualify you. However, it is far from being a sure thing. There is nothing you can really do about it now. Just hope for the best.

Ananasboat
May 7th, 2014, 08:02
I wanna let people know I did a little research on the topic, and from what I've found is that as long as it is understood that after the first year of not paying into health insurance, they assume that you will fully cover the costs of health care. On top of that, it is only illegal to not pay into the insurance if you leave the country and do not plan on returning to pay it back.

I've decided the best route would be to email my consulate and get advice on it, as I'm fully willing to pay the insurance (now that I'll finally have a regularly paying job). Thanks for all your heal guys and I'll get back to you all about what happens.

themightyquinn
May 23rd, 2014, 16:22
Regardless of how it turns out, I can assure you that no-one at your BOE is going to go ballistic over the situation, so don't worry about that front.

Ananasboat
May 23rd, 2014, 19:33
For the record I've talked to my coordinator, and she agrees that it's probably not a problem at all, but we're working on trying to find out if the debt is still even open in Japan.