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Move to make health insurance mandatory for long-stay visas


Jonathan Fairfield

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Move to make health insurance mandatory for long-stay visas

By The Nation

 

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Foreigners with one-year Non-Immigrant Visa “O-A” (Long Stay) will have to compulsorily arrange health insurance, according to new proposals of a key committee.
 

The criterion under the Immigration Act 1979 was approved by the Medical Hub Committee, Dr Kittisak Klapdee, adviser to the Minister of Public Health, said on Sunday. 

 

Kittisak was assigned by Public Health Minister Dr Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn to join Tourism and Sport vice minister Ittipol Khunplome at the Medical Hub Committee’s second annual meeting, which approved in principle the amendment of the criteria for one-year long-stay visas.

 

Once it comes into effect, foreigners having the visa will be required to have Thai insurance policies covering their entire stay in Thailand with minimum Bt40,000 out-patient medical bill coverage and minimum Bt400,000 in-patient medical bill coverage. 

 

Those already having overseas insurance policies that meet the minimum requirement would be exempted from subscribing to Thai insurance policies. They will be able to apply for long-stay visas using their foreign insurance policies, he said.

 

Details and guidelines pertaining to the amendment were being jointly formulated by the Public Health Ministry, the Foreign Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the Immigration Bureau, the Office of Insurance Commission, the Thai General Insurance Association, and the Thai Life Assurance Association. At the next stage, it would be forwarded to the Cabinet for approval as a formal policy, he added.

 

The amended criterion is aimed at ensuring health protection for long-stay visa holders – mostly elderly foreigners – and also benefit the public and private hospitals in the country, he added.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/breakingnews/30360990

 

 
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Somewhat sensible proposal. But how enforceable, what restrictions are in place (and how to overcome them), and how rife for abuse this requirement will be is what i would be most concerned about at this stage.

 

This will likely drive people away if it is enforced too rigidly, and more importantly if people can't afford the cover required

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7 minutes ago, anterian said:

I thought that was the basic point of the 800 kBaht, to show that one could cover medical expenses. 

The news article talks about the O-A visa, for which application is made at a Thai embassy or consulate.

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3 minutes ago, Youlike said:

And what about the VIP visa's, do they also need to take or show a healthcare insurance to stay in their condo? (some condo's gave a VIP visa for free if you bought a unit from them).

There is no visa called VIP visa.

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What are the offers from Thai insurance? Last time i checked to get equally as good cover as my International is same if not more.

 

I am in early 40's and paying around 50 000 per year, and it does not include ODP, if i was to add ODP my premium would almost double.

 

Now why on earth do i need to have ODP?, its 600-1000 per visit, why on earth would i want to have insurance which only covers 400 000 hospitalization? Thats 2-3 nights in a decent hospital with a minor surgery, any thing more serious and surgery alone is 400 000 already 

 

Now for those on NON O, insurance premiums are almost double to what i am paying, All i can see is many packing up. Not saying one should not have insurance, but this policy will hurt a few pockets

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9 minutes ago, steve73 said:

Or those with pre-existing conditions..?

Nothing happens, you still take out a policy, it just does not cover much 😉

 

Though 400 000 baht policy, would not cover much anyways.

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16 minutes ago, DepDavid said:

And what about those over 60 who can’t get insurance?  Is there going to be a plan available for them?

Of course there are plans, from International companies cost around 200 000-300 000

 

From Thai insurance with only 400 000 payout, would most likely set you back a lot less than from International

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This is for those on O-A visa. It does not  impact those on retirement extensions, although any with sense will have some form of insurance anyway. We have all seen people getting hurt and having to go fund me to pay their bills. The big question is how long before they start focusing on the tourists and insisting they have some insurance too. There are Thai policies which cover this requirement for a few thousand baht and they have to offer cover to people up to 100 years of age, so no worries on the too old bit.

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Those living or visiting here who are retired US military already have very good US Government Insurance called Tricare Select OS.  To use overseas they must have both part A and B medicare coverage. It has excellent coverage for Retired and their families.

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45 minutes ago, DepDavid said:

And what about those over 60 who can’t get insurance?  Is there going to be a plan available for them?

 

44 minutes ago, Longcut said:

What happens when you are too old to obtain insurance?

 

40 minutes ago, steve73 said:

Or those with pre-existing conditions..?

 

Patience is called for. All of the above will no doubt be covered by the following (copied from the OP):

 

Quote

...Details and guidelines pertaining to the amendment were being jointly formulated by the Public Health Ministry, the Foreign Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the Immigration Bureau, the Office of Insurance Commission, the Thai General Insurance Association, and the Thai Life Assurance Association...

 

 

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Proposal makes sense except (as someone above pointed out) the out-patient requirement. Visits are too cheap to need coverage.

 

In any case, count on the insurance companies to tailor packages to the new requirements once they're official. Hopefully, there'll be competition and they don't get too greedy.

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I am American and was insured in Thailand till I was 65 at which time I had to sign up for Medicare in USA along with supplement plan which is not cheap and offers no foreign coverage although supplement plan provides the first two months for travel insurance. Now I stay here 7 months a year and I purchase travel insurance from Pacific Cross while here. No more O-A visa for me if I had to buy insurance here too if it was available at all (cost would be high too). They have not thought this matter through properly and need to look at how people from different countries would be affected.

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well i have just been trying to get quotes for insurance and i cant because i have a hepatic condition. We have just been given documents to say all the land we own we can not sell because originally it was army land.

So if this ridiculous rule is implemented my family will be forced to basically lose everything and thailand will lose the fortune i spend here. 

Im too old for this sht but a lil young to retire even though been basically retired since early 30s. great! My children will be happy!!!!!!!

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Perhaps they’ll re-introduce the Previous Ferang Health Insurance policy which the previously elected Government introduced ?

 

This excellent Policy was however Ditched, by the current Junta, leaving many who dropped their ovrrseas policies to , in Good Faith purchase the THAI GOVERNMENT Policy, OUT IN THE COLD !

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5 hours ago, DepDavid said:

And what about those over 60 who can’t get insurance?  Is there going to be a plan available for them?

<deleted> plan with a plane ticket to your passport country... it's not like they care

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5 hours ago, anterian said:

I thought that was the basic point of the 800 kBaht, to show that one could cover medical expenses. 

this is very specific to O-A visa and is quite frankly a good idea

 

what I would like to see is an option for expats to subscribe to an in country healthcare system similar to Thais, it would cover those on retirement extensions - why not, we live here

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9 hours ago, Youlike said:

And what about the VIP visa's, do they also need to take or show a healthcare insurance to stay in their condo? (some condo's gave a VIP visa for free if you bought a unit from them).

Well what about all visas.

 

Maybe I'm missing a point but i'm wondering they are targeting 1 year O A visas.

 

Surely it's very possible visitors can find themselves in trouble with medical costs on any visa?

 

 

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And you thought the 800K baht rule was the end of it!

Hogs are at the trough here folks, 800K was so easy, now the insurance company who really have the money will push this threw in no time. 

Banks and insurance are the two richest businesses around in Thailand. Just a matter of time now.

 

I can see a time where you will have to show immigration the 800K and the paid up insurance policy for and extension of stay. 

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