According to reports, Japan’s Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry intends to scrap the current system of health insurance cards in order to promote the use of My Number social security and taxation identification cards as proof of health insurance eligibility.

The plan was presented the same day to a subcommittee of the Social Security Council, which advises the health minister.

From April of next year, the ministry intends to require medical institutions and pharmacies across the country to instal the systems required to accept My Number cards as health insurance certificates.

My Number cards were first used as health insurance certificates in earnest in October of last year. While the government hopes to have the cards accepted at all medical institutions and pharmacies by the end of March, only about 20% of such facilities have implemented systems for accepting the cards so far.

According to the ministry proposal, medical institutions will be required to implement the necessary systems beginning in April 2023, while health insurance associations will have the option of continuing to issue existing health insurance cards or switching to the My Number card system beginning in April 2024.

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