Japanese medical insurance system

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Japanese medical insurance system is government-funded. I'm finally getting to use my taxes!

I pay 30% of the cost; tax money covers the rest. In the quest to figure out my headaches, I've had an MRI, an MR angiogram, an eye exam, and two consultations with my doctor. My cash outlay to date is only 19,500 yen (about $156). Good value for services rendered.

I enjoy paying the hospital. When my appointment is over, I approach a bank of squat machines that look a little bit like ATMs. I slot my pale green hospital ID card into the machine and it tells me how much I owe. I feed in my money and receive a printed receipt. How modern!

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