Health Insurance for Foreigners in Thailand
There are several reasons why medical insurance for foreigners in Thailand is not just a good idea but a crucial matter to consider for several reasons. Even though hospital treatment is cheap in Thailand by Western, particularly American standards, any serious inpatient treatment such as surgery or cancer treatments, for example, can be painfully expensive at a top-notch hospital and can swiftly put a huge strain on your finances. Also, retired expats now need to show health insurance documentation to be eligible for their yearly retirement extensions, so let’s take a look at some of the key points to consider when choosing a policy.
Foreign or Thai Insurance Policy?
When you first come to Thailand, you may already hold comprehensive travel or medical insurance from your home country. Expats who wish to obtain the long-stay non-immigrant O-A visa from their home country will need to show evidence of a health insurance policy that covers the holder for 40,000 Baht ($1340) outpatient and 400,000 Baht ($13,400) inpatient costs as a minimum. This policy can be from an insurance provider in your home country or one in Thailand. However, an important point to note is that once you come to obtain your yearly extension at an immigration office in Thailand, it will need to be from an approved Thai insurance company, something to be aware of if you are considering purchasing a new policy before traveling.
The outbreak of COVID-19 caused the Thai government to bring in new regulations meaning that anyone traveling to Thailand, regardless of age, will be required to show an insurance policy with coverage of a minimum of $100,000 of medical treatment, including COVID-19 coverage, upon arrival at the airport. It will also need to cover you whilst in Thailand for the entire duration of your stay, if it doesn’t meet all of these requirements then you won’t be allowed to enter the country so it’s vital to check and double-check your policy before traveling. Just because your current policy was sufficient for your embassy to issue you with a visa does not mean that it will cover COVID-19, so if unsure contact an insurance provider to confirm this.
Insurance for Non-Immigrant OA Visa
As mentioned, a policy from your home country would likely have been enough to obtain your initial visa to enter Thailand, but when you attend your local immigration to obtain your one-year retirement extension, the policy will need to be from an approved Thai insurance provider. The approved providers are LMG, The Viriyah, Pacific Cross, Falcon, Thaivivat, AXA Insurance Thailand, Navakij, Dhipaya, Asia Insurance, Aetna and. Sompo Insurance
You will need to obtain your policy in plenty of time as you will be required to present all of the original documents when applying for your extension. Again, the policy will need to cover an absolute minimum 40,000 Baht outpatient and 400,000 Baht inpatient costs.
Note: Foreigners with a retirement visa based on a Non-immigrant O visa will not be required to have health Insurance by Immigration Bureau.
How to Obtain Your Policy
If you’re in Thailand already, the easiest option is to go to an insurance broker and have them do all the legwork for you, ring ahead to make an appointment, and find out what documents they want to see. There are insurance brokers in every Thai town and if you are in an area popular with tourists and expats it should be easy to find one that speaks English. Alternatively, you can look at the websites for the above companies and use their online tool to obtain a quote after entering your details and choose the provider which offers the best value. Be careful when choosing your policy and don’t just automatically go for the cheapest, take care to examine the fine print, particularly the exclusions. Another important point to consider is the insurer’s reputation, as many will do their utmost to avoid paying any claim, legitimate or not. It’s now fairly easy to research the companies with online review sites being very popular.
Insurance Policy Inclusions
Health Insurance for expatriates and locals living in Thailand may avail the following insurance policy inclusion but not limited to:
- High cover for hospitalization and out-patient
- Full cover for cancer treatments
- Full cover for new chronic conditions
- Dental, maternity and health-check up options
- Pre-existing conditions can be covered if declared and accepted
- Guaranteed renewability
- Multiple international coverage options
- Coverage for congenital anomalies
Insurance Policy Exclusions
It’s important to consider the exclusions of each policy, as most policies come with a long list of them, all written into the fine print. And once you have your policy in place, always be mindful of what you are and are not covered to avoid a financial disaster. Some of the more common exclusions include the following:
- If any false information is provided when applying for your policy, your policy will be null and void (although you might not realize that until you come to make a claim).
- If you have any pre-existing medical conditions which you did not declare, then your policy will also be voided.
- Very few policies will cover you for motorcycle accidents. With these being sadly very common in Thailand, with expensive repercussions, never assume you are covered for such events unless you have double-checked with your provider first. Even the ones that do cover you will only pay out if you held a valid Thai motorcycle license or international driving permit, were wearing a helmet, had not drunk any alcohol, and could prove that you were not at fault. If you will be driving a lot then it would make sense to take out a separate policy for this.
- Anything to do with alcohol or alcoholism. If you are an alcoholic or heavy drinker and people know about it, expect the insurer to use a private investigator who will uncover this fact and any claim will be immediately denied. Likewise, if you were even mildly inebriated at the time of the incident they will not payout.
- Any losses caused by a natural disaster (an act of God) or by an act of terrorism will not be covered.
- Any injuries or losses caused by “dangerous activities” such as rock climbing, water sports, or even cycling will usually not be covered. This can even go as far as any sports altogether, but policies vary on this so check when applying if you intend to engage in any kind of sport or activity.
- Sexually transmitted diseases are likely to not be covered by most policies unless specifically stated. HIV treatment can be particularly expensive so that’s something to consider if you are sexually active.
Get a Quote
Although Thailand is generally a very safe country, things can and do sometimes go wrong, no matter how healthy or cautious you consider yourself to be. Taking your time to select the policy that matches your needs instead of just choosing the cheapest option will be time and money very well spent. Choosing a policy can be confusing, so if in doubt, head to an agent who will assist you every step of the way, enabling you to enjoy your time in Thailand without worry. With insurance now mandatory to enter the country and obtain your visa extension, it’s something that every visitor to Thailand needs to deal with.
You may click on the link below to get a quote for your Health Insurance in Thailand:
Other related topics:
1. Thailand Travel Restrictions
2. COVID-19 Guide for Travelers to Thailand
3. How to Travel to Thailand in 2021
4. COVID Insurance for Foreigners in Thailand
5. Health Insurance in Thailand
6. Alternative State Quarantine in Thailand
7. Golf Quarantine in Thailand
8. Can you enter Thailand now during this Crisis?
9. Thailand Travel Guide
10. Thai Elite Visa
Can foreigners buy health insurance in Thailand? ›
Expats who are not employed or those who want health coverage in private hospitals can purchase a private medical insurance scheme, either local or international. Expats who retire in Thailand will have to subscribe to a private insurance plan or pay the costs from their own pocket.Is health insurance expensive in Thailand? ›
Thailand is the cheapest location to get insured
On average, the cost of health insurance is USD $1,934 for individuals and USD $7,257 for families.
In Thailand, the average cost for expat health insurance in Thailand is roughly $2,000 per year, while the average private insurance premium for families is $10,000. This figure is the average for a wide variety of plans, coverage requirements, and ages.Is health insurance free in Thailand? ›
Healthcare is free (within the limits of local hospital facilities) for Thai citizens holding a Universal Coverage Health (UCH) card. The only exception for this falls on Saturdays, when even UCH cardholders will be charged for treatment.How much is private health insurance? ›
In 2020, the average national cost for health insurance is $456 for an individual and $1,152 for a family per month. However, costs vary among the wide selection of health plans.How much does it cost to live in Thailand a month? ›
|Monthly Expense||Minimum Cost (USD$)|
|Rent & Internet||$230|
|Electricity & Water||$30|
The cost works out to 5% of your gross salary and caps out at 750 Thai Baht a month. The benefits include both medical treatment and the medicine required for treatment.Why is healthcare so cheap in Thailand? ›
Therefore, Thai citizens can now access many healthcare services with no out-of-pocket costs. Healthcare is primarily funded by tax revenues. The government provides hospital funding and pays the salaries of many staff members.Is Thai healthcare good? ›
Thailand has a universal healthcare system that provides coverage to about most of the local population. The system has its share of flaws too. Besides long queues of patients that lead to longer waiting times, the system also restricts the number of hospitals that offer public treatment.Do I need health insurance to retire in Thailand? ›
Applicants for one-year retirement visas must be 50 and up. They need police clearance, medical certificate, and now health insurance.
Is Thailand healthcare better than the US? ›
|Health care system index||84.15 Ranked 2nd. 22% more than United States||69.03 Ranked 23th.|
|Modern equipment||100 Ranked 7th. 5% more than United States||95.58 Ranked 11th.|
|Short waiting times||81.25 Ranked 2nd. 34% more than United States||60.5 Ranked 10th.|
No. Medicare drug plans can't cover drugs you buy outside the U.S. Call your drug plan for more information. Will Medicare pay for medically necessary health care services I get on a cruise ship?How much does it cost to stay in hospital in Thailand? ›
If you go to a general private hospital, it will be around 1,500 to 2,000 baht. If it's a premium hospital such as Bumrungrad Hospital or Bangkok Hospital, you should expect to pay 2,000 to 3,000 baht. When hospitalized, you should expect to pay 20,000 baht to 30,000 baht per night.Is surgery free in Thailand? ›
Public health facilities in Thailand do offer good medical services, but most government hospitals can often be quite crowded, which means that waiting times can be long. Treatment is entirely free for Thai citizens who hold a Universal Coverage Health card, which is issued by the National Health Security Office.Are hospitals in Thailand good? ›
Are hospitals in Thailand safe? Generally, the standard of healthcare in Thailand is good, especially when you can afford better quality treatment. Thailand has plenty of world-class hospitals in its larger cities, but medical care may not be up to international standards in rural areas.Is it worth getting private health insurance? ›
Private health insurance helps people avoid long wait times for non-urgent procedures and lets them access services that Medicare does not cover. But out of pocket costs may be a deterrent for many people to use it to pay for their medical costs.Which is best health insurance? ›
|Health Insurance Plans||Entry Age (Min-Max)||Network Hospitals|
|Royal Sundaram Lifeline Supreme Health Plan||18 years & above||5000+|
|SBI Arogya Premier Policy||3 months – 65 years||6000+|
|Star Family Health Optima Plan||18-65 years||9900+|
|Tata AIG MediCare Plan||-||4000+|
Employer-sponsored health insurance coverage is usually cheaper than buying your own private plan since your employer must cover at least 60% of the cost. But if they don't cover your dependents, paying out-of-pocket for their premiums can be very costly.What is a good expat salary in Thailand? ›
Thailand has a salary range for Expats of 24,500 THB (US$734) to 433,000 THB (US$12984) in a month. Its average monthly salary is 96,900 THB (US$2,904).How much money do I need to retire in Thailand? ›
To retire in Thailand comfortably with Western standards of living, we recommend budgeting THB50,000–100,000 per month. That's not to say it's impossible to live comfortably on much less. To put things in perspective, the minimum wage in Thailand is around THB500 per day.
How much money do I need to live comfortably in Thailand? ›
You should plan to live in Thailand on a budget of at least $1,500 per month, with $2,000 being a more reasonable benchmark. This will allow you to live comfortably without breaking the bank. You could potentially live a lot cheaper, as low as $1,000 a month, but you would probably have a difficult time.Do I need health insurance to retire in Thailand? ›
Applicants for one-year retirement visas must be 50 and up. They need police clearance, medical certificate, and now health insurance.Can I use Medicare in Thailand? ›
No. Medicare drug plans can't cover drugs you buy outside the U.S. Call your drug plan for more information. Will Medicare pay for medically necessary health care services I get on a cruise ship?Is health insurance compulsory in Thailand? ›
The Thai Government has made it mandatory that foreign citizens entering Thailand have insurance coverage in case of medical needs during their stay. The insurance coverage becomes effective immediately upon your arrival in Thailand.What is Expat health insurance? ›
What is expatriate health insurance? Expatriate health insurance is designed for those who are living and working abroad. It is designed to give you and your family access to the best healthcare possible, wherever you are in the world.What is the cost of a retirement visa in Thailand? ›
For a 1-Year Thai Retirement Visa (Single-Entry): 2,000 Thai Baht. For a 1-Year Thai Retirement Visa (Multiple-Entry): 5,000 Thai Baht. For a 5-Year Thai Retirement Visa: 10,000 Thai Baht.Is Thailand healthcare good? ›
Thailand has a universal healthcare system that provides coverage to about most of the local population. The system has its share of flaws too. Besides long queues of patients that lead to longer waiting times, the system also restricts the number of hospitals that offer public treatment.What is the difference between O visa and OA visa in Thailand? ›
The Non-Immigrant Retirement Visa
In fact, there is a distinction being made by some between an O-A (which is supposedly only issued at an embassy or consulate outside of Thailand) and an O visa extension based upon retirement (which is supposedly only issued in Thailand).
Remember, you can have Medicare while you live abroad, but it will usually not cover the care you receive. Most people qualify for premium-free Part A, meaning you will pay nothing for coverage. If you must pay a premium for Part A, be aware of the high monthly cost for maintaining Part A coverage.What will Medicare not pay for? ›
Medicare and most health insurance plans don't pay for long-term care. Non-skilled personal care, like help with activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, eating, getting in or out of a bed or chair, moving around, and using the bathroom.
How long can a retired US citizen stay out of the country? ›
SSI benefits will stop if a recipient is outside the United States for more than 30 days, and benefits won't start up again until the recipient is back in the country for at least 30 days.Who pays for healthcare in Thailand? ›
Healthcare in Thailand is overseen by the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH), along with several other non-ministerial government agencies. Thailand's network of public hospitals provide universal healthcare to all Thai nationals through three government schemes.Is Thailand pass free? ›
The Thailand Pass system is a free-of-charge web-based system designed to make the documentation process of travelers entering Thailand more efficient and faster. The Thai Pass QR code is required for all travelers entering Thailand.When should I apply for my Thailand pass? ›
You can apply for your Thailand Pass up to 60 days before your arrival date, and if your travel plans change, you can use your approved Thailand Pass up to 7 days before or after your initial entry date. All travelers can apply for Thailand Pass at https://tp.consular.go.th/.How much does international medical insurance cost? ›
How much does international health insurance cost? The annual cost of an international medical insurance plan will range from as low as $500, with limited benefits, to as much as $8,000 for a comprehensive global medical insurance policy, including coverage in the USA. The average cost is $5,000 per year.Do I need health insurance if I live abroad? ›
ACA and NON Residents of the USA: Excluded or Not Excluded? U.S. citizens living in a foreign country are not required to get health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. If you're uninsured and living abroad, you don't have to pay the fee that other uninsured U.S. citizens may have to pay.What countries offer free healthcare to non citizens? ›
- Free health care if you deek treatment in your assigned hospital.
- Thai hospitals are well equipped and the doctors are good.
- There are no extra charges as everything is covered by the social security contributions.