Japan health insurance, My Number cards to be integrated in autumn 2024

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Digital minister Taro Kono announced Thursday that the government will aim to abolish health insurance cards and integrate them into the My Number identification card system in the autumn of 2024.

Jiji Press
Digital minister Taro Kono answers questions at a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday.

Kono said the government will also consider bringing forward the integration of driver’s licenses into My Number cards, for which the initial goal was the end of fiscal 2024.

“There will be no need to switch insurance cards when people change jobs or stop working. That will allow people to receive improved medical services,” Kono said at a press conference. “We want to publicize the new system well, to obtain the public’s understanding.”

The government will consider how to handle cases in which people who do not have My Number cards use services in medical institutions.

Regarding when to start the installation of My Number card functions in smartphones, Kono said it would become possible on Google’s Android operating system on May 11, 2023.

The government has encouraged people to obtain My Number cards by launching an incentive program in which new card holders receive My Number points worth up to ¥20,000. However, the My Number card possession rate stood at only 49% as of the end of September.

By abolishing health insurance cards, the government intends to effectively require people to hold My Number cards.