Having not lived in America for almost 15 years, I have to rely on the internet for information about health care costs in America, so take what follows with a grain of salt - your own experience with US health care costs may vary.According to this article from Money, single Americans pay an average of $89 a month for health insurance while families pay $413. Contrasting this with Japan’s national health care system (which is, essentially, mandatory and generally considered a tax), the amount you pay is based on how much you pay in residence taxes, with a multiple based on the number of people in your family. It is capped at 500,000 yen per year, but, winds up being about 8% of your salary, at least in my (single) experience (call it about $250 a month). So, the cost of insurance seems a bit higher.According to that previous article, though, most Americans also have a deductible they have to cover before the insurance starts to kick in, at which point you simply pay your copay. The average deductible appears to be about $1400, and copays for standard medical care are $24 in America.In Japan, there typically is no deductible. Instead, in most cases you pay a flat 30% of any and all medical fees in Japan when on national health care (there are some adjustments for the very young and very old).The biggest difference, between medical costs in America and Japan is that the Japanese government very tightly regulates how much doctors and companies are allowed to charge for services and medicines.It’s been difficult to find costs for procedures (in America or Japan), so I’m just going to list the costs I have personally experienced during my time here in Japan - hopefully someone can comment with the costs they paid in America. It’s probably worth noting all of the below were all outpatient - not sure how much a week’s hospital stay would cost. All costs are on insurance, so are 30% of the “actual” price for care.Pneumonia - 4 doctor’s visits (1 / week), 4 weeks of medicine (antibiotics and cough medication, 4 X-rays (1 / week). Total out-of-pocket cost: about 25,000 yen (about $225)Influenza - 1 doctor’s visit, medicine. TOPC: about 2,000 yen.Back sprain - 1 doctor’s visit, 3 different pain-relief regimens, ambulance trip. TOPC: about 4,000 yen.Broken tooth - 4 trips to the dentist, 3 temporary caps, 1 permanent replacement. TOPC: about 5,000 yen.Cracked thumb - 2 trips to the doctor, 2 X-rays, 2 sets of dressings and braces. TOPC: about 5,000 yen.Colonoscopy - Pre-procedure counseling and day-before food package, cleansing laxative, procedure. TOPC: about 10,000 yenOne final note: It’s probably worth mentioning that one major difference between American and Japan is that Japanese will often go to the hospital for even the most insignificant things (like the common cold), where Americans often won’t (perhaps as a result of the cost involved). But one major difference that I think explains this is that OTC medication is much more expensive in Japan and (in my experience) not as effective as OTC medication in America. For instance, you can buy a large bottle (500-count) of store-brand 200mg ibuprofen for, what, $10 (on average)?In Japan, they don’t typically have store-brand OTC medication in the first place. Second, it is quite difficult to find any OTC medication with 200mg ibuprofen (most cap at 150mg, with several being 100mg or less), and for about the same amount of money, you can get about 40 pills.In short, America is generally a better place if you’ve got a cold or a headache and want to take care of it yourself. Japan is generally a better place for just about everything else, at least as far as the medical costs go.