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InterGlobal Medical Insurance

InterGlobal has contacted me with information regarding private medical insurance. Here's the message:

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InterGlobal is a private medical insurance provider that offered medical insurance to Nova teachers via JMA. As you may have heard JMA has cancelled all insurance policies as of midnight Oct 31, 2007. We have created a short-term policy for all JMA-InterGlobal members and will allow a grace period of 14 days for these members to apply with continuous coverage.

Please use the link to view our proposal and the table of benefits that are being offered. We are offering the exact same benefits they currently have and same underwriting terms.

http://www.interglobal.co.jp/jmatransfer.pdf

http://www.interglobal.co.jp/shorttermbenefitstable.pdf

For any former JMA-MSI or JMA-MBA members we also have individual policies and will be offering a 10% discount for these members.

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Comments

curious minds want to know...oh read the site, read the site

One of the reasons I accepted this stupid job was to get cheap health insurance.

I'm on InterGlobal with my new company. It seems like a decent enough plan. They're based in NZ, but surely with today's modern banking and credit card methods, you can figure out how to get the money to them (if you have it).

I think everyone should remember that this is essentially travel insurance, and like JMA, effectively inadequate in terms of Japanese law.

trythis, please explain why it's "effectively inadequate in terms of Japanese law."

If you live and work in Japan (for over a year) then you should have either shakai hoken or kokumin kenko hoken. A travel insurance scheme is not adequate. That is the law, not my opinion.

It's "effectively inadequate in terms of Japanese law" because Japanese law requires all residents to be enrolled in the national health and pension systems.

Don't take my word for it, read what the Social Incurance Agency says about it:
"Under the universal coverage principle, all registered residents of Japan must enroll in one of the appropriate social health care and pension insurance systems."
http://www.sia.go.jp/e/ss.html

"You must be covered by the Employees’ Health Insurance if you work for a company or factory which employs 5 workers or more, or if you work for a HOJIN corporation, irrespective of your age or nationality. Specifically, a company or a factory here means one in business specified by law, such as manufacture or health and medical services.
You must be also covered if you are a part-time worker and if both your work days and your work hours are more than 3/4 of the regular workers in your workplace."
http://www.sia.go.jp/e/ehi.html

Actually, now you don't need to work here a year. They want you to sign up for it right away. I did. Travelers insurance is completely unreliable. It's a scam. Just go to your local government office building and they will put you on the national insurance.

You know what.
I have to run to some pub(or maybe conveni).
I definitely need some DRINK because I'm sick of everything!!!

How are we supposed to sign up for medical insurance with no cash?

I'm heading into my 4th year in Japan, and I'm not on pension or national health insurance. I've got Interglobal, which also covers me anywhere I go in the world (don't think national health does that). I also save my own money into my own retirement plan. My friends who are direct hires with schools have to go on pension and national health, but for my status, it doesn't seem to be needed. I don't know of anybody who has a job like mine who is on either the national health or the pension. And as far as the pension goes, that's just great, because the government are a bunch of clowns.

Shawn,

I do not always agree with your opinions on your blog but I want to thank you for the timely info on Interglobal. I contacted them several times at the end of last month and they kept putting me off saying they were still working out the details.

Sincerely,

A NOVA INSTRUCTOR (Skilled or otherwise)

"for my status, it doesn't seem to be needed."

You are missing the point entirely. It doesn't matter what your friends do or don't do, and whether InterGlobal covers you in other countries. It doesn't matter if you've been here for four decades, horde gold bullion under your mattress, and pay a faith healer ten yen a year to spray chicken blood on you for protection.

Legislature defines who should be enrolled in kokumin kenko and shakai hoken, and you are just flying under the radar - you may get away with it, or they may catch up with you one day. I can understand why you choose to stay with InterGlobal, but the bottom line is it is not adequate according to Japanese law.

I don't think I'm missing the point.... I'm sure that my company isn't doing anything illegal. There must be a reason for this. I'll fire off an email to my manager and post the gist of the response back on here. Here is what I know now. ALL of my friends and co-workers who are direct-hires with their schools are on both pension and health. And ALL of my co-workers who do not work directly for the schools are NOT on either of the two systems. The conversation schools also don't seem to enroll people in them. Such a 100% partition must have a reason, or I'd expect a mixture of the two, with some having "legal" and others "illegal" practices. It is also quite out in the open. The tax people know about it, as we leave all of those sections blank.

Let's see what the reply is from my company.

Very few people actually qualify for the Japanese National Health Insurance
because most people are recognised as part time workers and work under 30 hours a week.
Also, if you have lived in a City for over a year and you go to the City Hall and ask to register for the J N H I they want back payments from when you moved to the City in question. Therefore, you might be asked to pay thousands and thousands of yen just to qualify.

Just my experience.

Good luck to one and all trying to get by in this current debacle!!

I can make two suggestions, and then I'll drop it:

1) Look closer at the "conversation schools" that you mentioned and you'll find that the more reputable ones (and even Nova) do enroll employees, or at least offer the option of enrollment.

2) Don't expect your company to be following the law, as many companies don't - whether intentionally, or out of ignorance. Don't put all your faith in their response.

I understand what you're saying, but I've had a lot of coworkers, from at least 6 different companies, plus the direct-hires for the schools. The partition is 100% perfect. Does all of these companies having identical illegal practices (and all of them continuing to operate in that way for years without legal consequence) seem like the most likely explanation? It doesn't to me. The simplest, and most likely, explanation is that there is a good, legal reason why it's done, and done in the open.

I did look at the links you posted, so I'm trying to find more information. And my company is not one of the "big, evil" ones. We're a smaller company, and I trust what they, and particularly my manager tell me, on almost any issue. They've never lied to me (to my knowledge), and have always done everything exactly right.

I think it probably comes from the definition of how many hours I work. There's this 3/4 rule that keeps coming up. I don't meet that. Damn, I barely ever work. I'm on a 5-day weekend right now :-)

Hmmm... the 3/4 rule is for company insurance, then if you're not on that, there's this national insurance thing...... Maybe you are right.

Then again, they've got my registration at city hall, they've got my taxes, including my residence tax. They surely must also be aware that I'm not on any of these plans (the fact that I never mention them on taxes, and that the systems can possibly talk to each other). If I am truly required to be on these plans, and they can't even figure out that I'm not, then they're pretty disorganised.

While the law exists, it would require an enormous effort to actually enforce it in every single case. I had JMA while I was at Nova (because the company was flouting the law and lining its own pockets), then no insurance at all for two years (because I thought I didn't need it and had better use for the money), and during that whole time I was registered in my ward/city and was paying all appropriate taxes.

But that's all irrelevant. My working status and conditions meant I should have been enrolled in shakai hoken.

trythis, my company emailed me back. I'm going to paraphrase here, but they said that basically, we are "required" to be in the plans, much as we are "required" to pay our NHK fees. Now, I do pay my NHK fees because I do watch it. However, we are unlikely to actually get any service out of the pension, and we will never get it all back, so they've basically opted-out. They say there is no penalty for non-compliance, and they are not forced to participate. Same with the health plan.

Now, the health and retirement plans that I am on will follow me to any country in the world, and have no dependency on who I work for. So they're better for me, and I think I'll choose to remain opted-out.

After my last message, I did think of one prestigious private school I know of that hires its teachers directly, but does not require them to be in either the health or pension plans.

But in the end, you were more correct than I was. It's just that nobody seems to care :-)

"They say there is no penalty for non-compliance, and they are not forced to participate.."

This is where it gets interesting, and you should really question what they tell you. Ask them what they would do (and IF they would assist you) in the event that the relevant authorities contact you and demand payment for back enrolment. While this is unlikely, it DOES sometimes happen, and if it does you have no choice but to comply. I personally know three people who have had this happen, one of whom received a bill for over a million yen. I'd be interested to hear what your employers say...

Here are some handy stats and facts about the government insurance program.
And NO, Interglobal does NOT satsify the legal requirements living in Japan.
Only Shakai Hoken or Kokumin Kenkou Hoken+Nenkin satisfies that requirement.
http://interac.generalunion.org/?page_id=11

Interglobal have close ties to organised crime syndicates in New Zealand. The president had been arrested on various criminal charges and been linked to outlaw motorcycle gangs. Please be very wary!!! Insurance is a vital component of a safe and secure overseas experience, dont leave it in the hands of criminals. look what happened to Nova, did you expect that to happen???
For further details and up to date information look at this site http://insurancewrongdoings.blogspot.com/

I have heard the same thing about Interglobal!!!
A dude at MM had photoccopied and left a pile of copies of the news article all over the place to warn people, however most didnt care. I cant believe after all the mess Nova created that people dont research where they are putting their trust and faith? I guess most humans are ignorant and stupid and deserve to be ripped off....

Jesus, You must be joking. This is obviously someone's personal vendetta against InterGlobal. I have never had a problem with InterGlobal paying my medical claims promptly and in full. InterGlobal is offering to assist deposed Nova teachers by offering them full cover for USD$60/month. Where else can you find health insurance for that price??

BC

"InterGlobal is offering to assist deposed Nova teachers by offering them full cover for USD$60/month. Where else can you find health insurance for that price??"

While I'm not convinced the boss of InterGlobal is running around with the Mongrel Mob, nor am I convinced that Nova teachers have been "deposed", the cover provided is "full", or that it's even "health insurance". Ever wonder why it's so cheap?

Hi i am general educashun manger and bossis girlfrendo at EC g.communications. We are great company and my boyfrendo is greet teachur. He teeched me English and he a relly nice guy. You can trust us 100%. My boss knows many things about teeching - he work in Yakiniku shop for many years and wear Armani suit and have Louis Vuitton manbag. He know very much about teeching English and mangement. We can garantee your wage 100% after 2 week traning time. We promise to give you everything 100% we promisit accept your Nova wagis and it will give you yor old job back in 6 munths. I`m lookin forward to workin with you. Trust us 100%. Check out my boss he relly handsoma.
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/national/news/20071108p2a00m0na011000c.html

I have been working in Japan for about 4 years but I previously worked trough Europe for 7 years. The differences regarding health insurance really made me think it was better in Europe. Here, in Japan, I get no health insurance to pay for a residential drug treatment center, health care privilege that should come with the job. It's not my case but I had a friend that checked into a rehab recently and has to pay it himself.

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Be aware of what? Uri Carhartt is not relevant to JAPAN today, at all. Please go to the forums.

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