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Thai social security healthcare after retirement. Has it gone?


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Apologies if this has been covered (I did do a quick search, but to no avail).

 

A long-term colleague retired last year. When he went to the social security office to register for his benefits (he had been paying social security contributions for over 15 years) he was told he could have a lump sum or monthly payments. When he asked if he could have the free government healthcare option he was told that that option was not available to foreigners anymore. He reluctantly took the monthly payments.

 

It has always been my understanding that, on retirement, (and providing 15 years' worth of contributions have been made) we could opt for free government healthcare for life as long as we keep paying 432 baht per month into the system. As this seemed apparently now not the case, I decided to try and find out more. Recently, our local social security office visited for a talk to the Thai staff about the system. As I was away that week I asked our HR manager to ask the office if this benefit had been withdrawn. She posed to question to the director of the local office who admitted that he didn't know, but would get back to her. A month later the response has come that no, foreigners are no longer entitled to the healthcare option, but only the lump sum payment or monthly payment options. If this is true, it's a game changer (for me, anyway). I realise that we can all get private healthcare and other stuff, but I do feel this is an important issue.

 

I have been to the social security website, but that's about as useful as an ashtray on a motorcycle.

 

Has anybody else heard of this?

 

Thanks.

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6 minutes ago, redwhiteandblue said:

My local Social Security Office said that as long as I had paid social security for 15 years AND I keep paying 432 baht per month I would be eligible for free healthcare.  That was a few months ago.

And that is correct.

 

I think the confusion may be due to the free healthcare for foreigners that has been withdrawn. If you make clear you want to keep paying the monthly fees you should be eligible.

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41 minutes ago, stevenl said:

And that is correct.

 

I think the confusion may be due to the free healthcare for foreigners that has been withdrawn. If you make clear you want to keep paying the monthly fees you should be eligible.

Thanks Steve, but didn't you just contradict yourself?

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There seems to be  misundertanding. The 432 Baht paid every month has notthing to do witje the national health care. Because its a fund of the social service of te labour department. Thats why you get an 100% free health care in designated private hospitals. When you 60 you can get premiums back with intrest. but you loose your benefits. Or you van choose to go on paying the monthy premium of 432 Baht. In that case you will be covered till you die.

 

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13 hours ago, henry15 said:

There seems to be  misundertanding. The 432 Baht paid every month has notthing to do witje the national health care. Because its a fund of the social service of te labour department. Thats why you get an 100% free health care in designated private hospitals. When you 60 you can get premiums back with intrest. but you loose your benefits. Or you van choose to go on paying the monthy premium of 432 Baht. In that case you will be covered till you die.

 

Thanks. This was my understanding as well, but this exactly what I’m being told is no longer an option for foreigners. 

 

Confusing indeed. 

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16 hours ago, Neeranam said:

Your colleague has been lied to, probably because they can't be bothered to do the work.

I had thought that, but it’s not something I’d like to base my retirement on, hence my post. If it’s not available then I’ll need private healthcare insurance once my work coverage ends, and I’ll need to do it fairly soon. 

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