Health insurance

57% oppose scrapping Japan’s health insurance cards for My Number cards: Mainichi poll

This illustration shows a My Number individual identification card.

TOKYO — Some 57% of people in Japan oppose abolishing the current health insurance cards in favor of unifying them with “My Number” national identification cards, in the wake of numerous cases of the wrong insurance data being linked to the ID cards, a nationwide Mainichi Shimbun opinion poll shows.

When asked about the My Number system, 64% of respondents to the June 17-18 survey said they “feel uneasy” about it, far more than the 22% who said they “do not feel uneasy.” Fourteen percent said they were “undecided.”

The Japanese government has been actively promoting the use of the My Number system, and revised laws were passed on June 2 to expand the system’s scope and to abolish the current health insurance cards next autumn in principle to integrate them with My Number cards.

The ratio of respondents opposed to the health insurance card plan was 57%, as against the 31% who supported it. Twelve percent said they were “not sure.”

There have been several problems related to the system, such as about 130,000 cases of bank accounts designated for the receipt of government benefits being shared among family members, as well as instances of the wrong person’s health insurance information being registered on their My Number cards. Furthermore, it has emerged that information from company health insurance associations transferred to the national health insurance system is not being properly reflected on the cards, resulting in uninsured status.

The survey was conducted using a combination of text messages to mobile phones and automated voice questionnaires on fixed-line phones. A total of 515 valid responses were received from mobile phones and 514 from landlines.

(Japanese original by Daisuke Nohara, Poll Office)

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