Integrating MyNumber Cards and Insurance Cards
I recognize that problems concerning the MyNumber cards, including the faulty links between MyNumber cards and health insurance cards, have caused anxiety.
I am deeply sorry for the inconvenience that any malfunctions with the MyNumber cards have caused.
Today, I will offer a more in-depth explanation of the problem regarding integrating MyNumber cards and insurance cards. This explanation may be lengthy, but I appreciate your patience in reading through it.
As MyNumber cards and insurance cards integrate, digitization in Japanese healthcare will help the industry make remarkable progress. So, what potential changes can we anticipate?
The MyNumber card will keep track of more documents, such as examination slips for infant and toddler health checkups, children’s medical expense cards, single-parent recipient certificates, and public assistance recipient certificates for the elderly, differently abled, and designated intractable disease patients. Individuals can use MyNumber cards to make medical appointments and receive prescriptions.
Furthermore, beginning in April of 2024, health insurance cards will start to be integrated into Android phones.
The MyNumber card can also act as a medical institution visit ticket. Since the information is digitized, the card will ensure you can access your pre-examination and vaccination forms whenever necessary. Vaccination pre-examination forms and questionnaires for infant health checkups will be accessible on your phone, eliminating tedious and repetitive handwritten forms.
Individuals can access the results of specific medical appointments and vaccination records from their phones.
Furthermore, patients can confirm if they have reached the upper limit of their medical expenses before receiving treatment, eliminating the need for temporary down payments.
In Kanagawa Prefecture, children eligible for subsidies for pediatric medical expenses do not have to pay upfront when receiving medical treatment within Kanagawa. However, if they seek medical treatment in another prefecture, they may be required to pay upfront.
If the MyNumber card becomes integrated with the insurance card, this inconsistency problem will be fixed.
With the individual’s consent, medical institutions and pharmacies will be able to review a patient’s prescription history, lowering the risk of issuing prescriptions with duplicate ingredients or with the potential for harmful drug interactions.
Furthermore, essential medical records will be shared electronically among medical facilities, allowing seamless treatment at medical institutions other than one’s primary physician.
Giving medical institutions access to a patient’s past blood test results and other medical results will prevent patients from undergoing repetitive tests. X-ray, MRI, CT, and other medical imaging data will also be accessible, helping patients avoid redundant image examinations.
Furthermore, pharmacies can give prescriptions electronically, allowing them to deliver medications directly to patients’ homes.
Once individuals can receive electronic prescriptions, it will become easier for them to seek online medical consultations.
Equipped with personal health check results, such as at-home blood pressure measurements, individuals can take preventative action against lifestyle-related diseases.
Furthermore, in an emergency, emergency medical staff can access a patient’s medical history from their MyNumber card and quickly and effectively administer treatment accordingly.
By anonymizing the medical information of each individual, researchers can analyze the overall medical data to gather information on which treatments and medications are most effective for the Japanese public. This anonymous medical data can advance medical research and the development of new products, enabling the creation of more effective medication.
Not only will this alleviate the administrative burden on medical institutions and local governments, but it will also reduce human and financial system costs.
As healthcare and caregiving become more digitized, Japan’s healthcare services will improve. MyNumber and insurance integration can allow us to optimize medical and caregiving costs.
This is the future that I aspire to create.
With your approval and cooperation, I hope to advance the digitization of healthcare and caregiving in Japan.
The foundation of this digitization lies in integrating MyNumber cards and insurance cards.
To properly build this foundation, we must prevent any registration errors in the insurance card information and the MyNumber cards.
We must ask: What does it mean to link MyNumber cards with insurance cards? And how will we prevent registration errors from occurring during this process?
Suppose you switched your insurance provider after getting a new job. Let’s walk through the process step by step.
You provide your new employer with your basic personal information (your name, date of birth, address, and gender) and your MyNumber.
Your employer submits your information and MyNumber to your insurer through a qualification acquisition notification as proof that you are joining their insurance plan.
The insurer inputs your information into their system and issues a new insurance number and card.
At the same time, so that you can access your insurance card through your MyNumber card, your insurer will register your basic personal information, your MyNumber, and your insurance number into either the payment fund or into the National Health Insurance Association’s system (the “intermediate server”).
At this point, the system will verify whether your MyNumber, name, and date of birth match the information registered with your insurer to confirm that your MyNumber is correct.
Although your basic information and insurance number stored in the “intermediate server” will be automatically transferred to the “online qualification verification system,” your MyNumber will not be transferred. Once issued, your new insurance card will be sent to your address after a few days.
Because your information will have been immediately registered into the system, if you are using your MyNumber card as your insurance card, medical institutions can use your MyNumber card to verify your insurance eligibility by the following morning.
For those covered by municipal National Health Insurance, your insurance card may be issued at the counter and distributed on the spot so you can use your new insurance card immediately.
If you decide to link your MyNumber card to your insurance card through My Portal, the serial number of the electronic certificate embedded in the IC chip of your MyNumber card will be linked to your information registered in the “online qualification verification system.”
The card reader at your medical institution will access your information from the online qualification verification system using the serial number on your electronic certificate. In addition to verifying your insurance eligibility, it will retrieve your medical records, prescription information, and information on specific health screenings.
Now, I will explain how registration errors can occur.
If you do not report your MyNumber to your employer, the company will only provide your name, date of birth, address, and gender to your new insurer. In such cases, insurers must search the resident registry held by the Local Government Public Information System Agency (J-LIS) using the previously mentioned pieces of personal information.
If the insurer finds an exact match in the registry, they can confirm that the profile belongs to you and use the MyNumber included in the registry.
However, address notation often contains inconsistencies, making it challenging to find exact matches in the registry.
For example, the address “Akasaka 一丁目二番三号” may be written as “Akasaka一丁目２−３,” “Akasaka１−２−３,” Akasaka 1-2-3,” or “Akasaka１の２の３,” among other variations. Computers cannot recognize these formats as identical, even if they refer to the same address.
Subsequently, insurers have encountered problems when trying to match profiles using all personal information. Therefore, insurers have been conducting profile searches that exclude the individual’s address instead of looking to match every piece of information.
Improper registration occurred when two individuals had the same name and date of birth, prompting incorrect registration.
To prevent this issue, from June 1st, we have clearly outlined that employers must attach their employees’ MyNumbers to their insurance information.
On top of that, in the unlikely event that the insurer cannot obtain the MyNumber, they must ensure that all personal information, including the individual’s address, matches before proceeding with registration. If neither condition is fulfilled—in other words, if the employer did not provide the MyNumber and not all personal information matches—then verification with the individual will be necessary to complete registration.
These safeguards will prevent any future errors in registration.
Until now, insurance certificates did not include an identification photo, making it challenging to prevent impersonation or certificate reuse.
Furthermore, when insurance eligibility changed due to reasons such as a job change, issuing a new insurance card was a long process. In some cases, such a delay could prevent healthcare providers from realizing the change in insurance eligibility, resulting in rejected receipts (medical service payment details).
We can prevent such situations by installing a MyNumber-integrated insurance card.
There have been rumors that if you forget your MyNumber card or a card reader encounters an error in processing your card, the hospital will force you to pay 100% of your medical expenses. This rumor is false.
Think about it this way: when you forget your insurance card, your primary healthcare provider, who knows you well, will simply ask you to bring it next time. They would not demand that you pay 100% of your medical expenses.
The same principle applies to the MyNumber card.
Even if you forget your MyNumber card or encounter issues with it, your primary physician will not demand that you pay 100% of your medical expenses because you are using an insurance card integrated into your MyNumber card.
As I have reiterated, it is crucial to push for the digital transformation of our healthcare, including medical care and caregiving services, in the face of an aging society.
With your gracious understanding and cooperation, we will continue to advance in developing the MyNumber system.
Next time you visit a hospital, clinic, dentist, or pharmacy, please try the reception process using your MyNumber card.