If you have access to Japanese healthcare, consider yourself lucky. Japan has one of the best healthcare in the world (YMMV). You can think of healthcare in Japan as a gigantic universal PPO run by the government, with every single doctor in the network.

Japan provides universal healthcare, meaning every citizen is insured one way or another. Foreigners staying for over 3 months also need to be insured. People employed and their dependents have their premiums deducted from their paycheck. Most other people pay their local government directly.

There is no co-pay, no deductible, and co-insurance is a fixed 70% (meaning you only pay 30% of the cost). The cost for each procedure is also controlled by the government, so as far as cost is concerned, it shouldn’t differ from hospital to hospital.

Everyone can go see any doctor. Usually, you will pay at the window before or after your visit. You don’t have to wait for your EOB to go through the insurance company!

But of course, if you are just visiting, you do not have access to the healthcare system. Since the insurer will not cover any of the health care cost, the doctor is free to charge you as much as they want. Not that they will try to rip you off, but they are just not used to that sort of thing. Make sure to check with your healthcare provider to see if healthcare costs in foreign countries are covered.