Thailand Mandates Health Insurance for Expats 50 and Up

by Admin on May 23, 2019

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The Thai government has officially made health insurance a mandatory requirement for long-term expats aged 50 and up.

The new rule states that those applying for or renewing a non-immigrant visa (O-A), which allows for a stay in the country for one year, will have to provide proof that they have health insurance.

The health insurance must cover at least 40,000 baht in outpatient coverage as well as 400,000 baht in in-patient care.

According to Health Service Support Department director-general Nattawuth Prasert-siripong, many foreigners staying long-term in Thailand fail to buy health insurance and if they get sick and can’t pay, they put a huge financial burden on Thailand’s hospitals.

After the rule change, the US Embassy in Bangkok issued a statement urging all American expats to buy health insurance:

“Sadly, we at the Embassy in Bangkok have seen many instances where US citizens discover, too late, that essential, high-quality health care is out of financial reach and their options are limited. As you contemplate your own preparedness, we urge you to plan for a few key expenses: medical treatment, nursing care, and, if necessary, medical evacuation.”

If a 50 or older expat is denied coverage by health insurers due to high health risks, he or she might still be able to obtain an O-A visa if he or she can show a high enough amount in their bank account, according to Thailand immigration attorneys.

Read the full story here.

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