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Details of mandatory health insurance for Non-Imm O-A visas to be announced next week


rooster59

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Details of mandatory health insurance for Non-Imm O-A visas to be announced next week

 

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An official announcement regarding the details of the proposed mandatory health insurance requirement for Non-Immigrant O-A visas is due to be made next week.

 

On Friday, a senior executive from one of the insurance companies involved in the scheme told Thaivisa that the Office of Insurance Commission, the Ministry of Public Health, the Foreign Ministry and Immigration Bureau will announce the insurance requirements for  Non-Immigrant O-A visas on 22 August.

 

In May, it was proposed that foreigners applying for Non-Immigrant O-A visas would be required to have health insurance that offers Bt40,000 outpatient coverage and Bt400,000 baht inpatient coverage and it is these details, along with others, which are expected to be confirmed in next week’s announcement.

 

The mandatory health insurance requirement was proposed to help Thailand tackle the large number of unpaid medical bills from foreigners who receive treatment in Thai state hospitals. 

 

Figures from the Department of Health Service Support reported by The Nation in May revealed that from 2016 to 2019 there was a combined total of more than one billion baht in unpaid medical bills from foreigners.

 

As of today, the mandatory health insurance requirement has only been proposed for Non-Immigrant O-A visas and not for other visa types or extensions of stay.
 

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-- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2019-08-18
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27 minutes ago, rooster59 said:

016 to 2019 there was a combined total of more than one billion baht in unpaid medical bills from foreigners.

I still find this extremely hard to believe as the hospital will never let you leave until paid in full. How do you rack up a bill and then walk away?

 

27 minutes ago, rooster59 said:

As of today, the mandatory health insurance requirement has only been proposed for Non-Immigrant O-A visas and not for other visa types or extensions of stay.

All we can do is wait and see what comes out and how it is written. Not going to speculate, but I have my feeling there is more to it than that..

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5 minutes ago, tracker1 said:

I would have thought with the millions of tourists flooding Thailand that they would be more of a medical problem then a few hundred expats living here !

Yep! I would believe the expats are not even in the running.

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This just looks like another ruse by the local insurers to  extract money from people who bothered to get a visa and are easily tracked for contributions. Its far more likely that any unpaid bills are from tourists who arrive by air have an accident and depart by air never to be seen again, how big this problem is depends on whether you want hoards of tourists here or insurance contributions.

If the medical bills are so high then the easiest things to do would be for forms to filled out on route and fee payable on entry.

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I thought that the plan was to increase the airport PSC from 700 baht to 800 baht as of 1 October 2019, and that the resulting 3.8 BILLION baht generated annually would go to the MoH to cover the ~ 200 million baht unrecovered annual medical expenses incurred by foreigners, with a tidy 3.6 BILLION baht left over for, well, stuff.

 

https://morning-news.bectero.com/economy/24-May-2019/144181

 

 

 

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Bt40,000 outpatient coverage???
This would be the worse. This means you need to buy a much more expansive coverage plan than you might need just for this visa. I am not interested in outpatient coverage and still forced to buy it?
This will shake out a lot of foreigners living here. As if the outpatient medical services would be the ones which have outstanding bills. No doctor treats you "outpatient" if you don't show your credit card or health insurance. It's all about emergencies (in terms of "open bills")

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10 minutes ago, holy cow cm said:

I still find this extremely hard to believe as the hospital will never let you leave until paid in full. How do you rack up a bill and then walk away?

In at least two hospitals I've been in, unless you are personally conducted to the cashier (which didn't happen to me), you just walk out

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3 minutes ago, ThaiBunny said:

In at least two hospitals I've been in, unless you are personally conducted to the cashier (which didn't happen to me), you just walk out

In all the hospitals I have been in, there was no chance to just walk out. One is chaperoned to the cashier. Although on a couple instances they did leave while I waited to be called to the window which could have been a chance to do a runner. But that never entered my mind. 

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6 minutes ago, mtls2005 said:

I thought that the plan was to increase the airport PSC from 700 baht to 800 baht as of 1 October 2019, and that the resulting 3.8 BILLION baht generated annually would go to the MoH to cover the ~ 200 million baht unrecovered annual medical expenses incurred by foreigners, with a tidy 3.6 BILLION baht left over for, well, stuff.

 

https://morning-news.bectero.com/economy/24-May-2019/144181

 

 

 

Why stop there when you can impose rules and laws that extract even more money from us? 

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1 minute ago, holy cow cm said:

In all the hospitals I have been in, there was no chance to just walk out.

 

Same here. Once you're conscious, and disconnected from any IV/monitors they watch you like a hawk, making doing a runner impossible.

 

I think a lot of the unrecovered medical expenses fall into two categories:

 

 - tourist has a minor accident, gets treatment maybe can't pay full boat.

 

 - tourist or foreigner dies after incurring medical treatment, making recovering payment challenging.

 

 

Anyone staying here on an extension could be found, and be made to pay or be deported. Implementing some insurance scheme seems like overkill, but then money to be made.

 

 

 

 

 

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27 minutes ago, tracker1 said:

I would have thought with the millions of tourists flooding Thailand that they would be more of a medical problem then a few hundred expats living here !

Most responsible tourists have travel insurance....Same as most responsible Expats

 

But both groups have enough irresponsible folks who do not. Then when injured/sick etc

want to start a go fund me page or leave a medical bill behind at hospital

 

 

In any case anyone who does not see this becoming a mandatory part of all yearly visa renewals has not been paying attention.

Thailand is not shy about making it tougher for expats to live full time in Thailand

 

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10 minutes ago, mtls2005 said:

 

Same here. Once you're conscious, and disconnected from any IV/monitors they watch you like a hawk, making doing a runner impossible.

 

I think a lot of the unrecovered medical expenses fall into two categories:

 

 - tourist has a minor accident, gets treatment maybe can't pay full boat.

 

 - tourist or foreigner dies after incurring medical treatment, making recovering payment challenging.

 

 

Anyone staying here on an extension could be found, and be made to pay or be deported. Implementing some insurance scheme seems like overkill, but then money to be made.

 

 

 

 

 

So it is connected to the TM 30, and this is why we need to be tracked under the criminal bad guys and national security. Masterminding a plan to do a runner on your hospital bill. 

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12 minutes ago, mania said:

Most responsible tourists have travel insurance....Same as most responsible Expats

 

But both groups have enough irresponsible folks who do not. Then when injured/sick etc

want to start a go fund me page or leave a medical bill behind at hospital

 

 

In any case anyone who does not see this becoming a mandatory part of all yearly visa renewals has not been paying attention.

Thailand is not shy about making it tougher for expats to live full time in Thailand

 

If you are going to advertise as a tourist destination then you are bound to have a few unwanted costs. However compared to what comes in it's a drop in the ocean.

 

Also they don't advertise how dangerous the country is! 

Most of the injuries/deaths will have been caused by a Thai or Thailand

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Sometimes I get grey hair with these people who make decisions in Thailand. Okay not sometimes, most of the times.

 

1. Making a health insurance mandatory for a new visa application or visa extension. Yes okay.. normal in a lot of countries. Do that. No one should really argue against it and most probably 80% of the people are responsible and having that one anyways.

 

2. But then again they kill it with unrelated stuff to the problem. Why do you need an outpatient coverage? That has nothing todo with the problem of "unpaid" bills. This is just so insurance companies can make a quick buck...

 

3. Why is it still allowed to travel to Thailand and getting a visa without showing a proof of travel insurance? This would fix so many problems...

A) No more stupid fundraisers.

B) No more super stupid fundraisers.

C) No more unpaid bills in hospitals.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Vacuum said:

Yes, but many expats can't get an insurance because of their age.

The Thai government will just create some minimal health insurance with unbreakable low caps on payouts as stated. It will be similar to the compulsory vehicle insurance in that aspect. It will be regulated by the government in terms of price and format. If you want and can find much better other insurance, you will buy that on top just as you do with your vehicle insurance.

 

I imagine it will lead to a significant drop in O-A visa applications which is not a very popular visa anyway. 

 

Will this lead to it being introduced for retirement extension holders. That is the key question. I have a suspicion that within say 3 or 4 years, it will.

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1 hour ago, rooster59 said:

As of today, the mandatory health insurance requirement has only been proposed for Non-Immigrant O-A visas and not for other visa types or extensions of stay.

Completely inaccurate... this is already a requirement for non O-X (10 year) visa and has been for more than a year

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15 minutes ago, mania said:

In any case anyone who does not see this becoming a mandatory part of all yearly visa renewals has not been paying attention.

Thailand is not shy about making it tougher for expats to live full time in Thailand

Not the point. They suggested to have wanted to have a mandatory pittance of a fee say like 100baht attached to all tourists coming in to cover all their healthcare costs if needed. For the O-A and if goes to the extensions for long term, so far any policy advertised is only something that rakes in a tremendous amount of money in a country that has low health care costs. If they are that concerned they need to adjust and have all expats of all ages covered under a policy for a straight out fee of say 20k per year. Ofcourse this would not cover the upper echelon or mid+ upper echelon hospitals, but would be suffice. We just hope it just doesn't turn out to be a money racket as on surface so far is how it looks. Buy unusable health care insurance. I don't think anyone is opposed to the idea as long as it is reasonable for what the country is. 

 

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1 minute ago, Briggsy said:

The Thai government will just create some minimal health insurance with unbreakable low caps on payouts as stated. It will be similar to the compulsory vehicle insurance in that aspect. It will be regulated by the government in terms of price and format. If you want and can find much better other insurance, you will buy that on top just as you do with your vehicle insurance.

 

I imagine it will lead to a significant drop in O-A visa applications which is not a very popular visa anyway. 

 

Will this lead to it being introduced for retirement extension holders. That is the key question. I have a suspicion that within say 3 or 4 years, it will.

Sooner than that, the pigs are hungry and the trough needs to be refilled

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4 minutes ago, Vacuum said:

Yes, but many expats can't get an insurance because of their age.

That's a big issue of the insurance world anyways. But it's not 100% true. I asked this 4 months ago at a Thai Insurance Company and this was the answer:

 

"It is because XXX only accepts new applicants up to 70 years old, but there is no age limit for renewal clients. It means that if you apply for our health insurance before 70 years old, you can still renew even if you are 90 years old."

 

So choosing a health insurance when you still 50-60 years old is important to be insured when you 90.

 

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1 hour ago, rooster59 said:

On Friday, a senior executive from one of the insurance companies involved in the scheme

in the USA the word "scheme" is always used as a verb.

 

"make plans, especially in a devious way or with intent to do something illegal or wrong."

 

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10 minutes ago, Sticky Wicket said:

Also they don't advertise how dangerous the country is! 

Most of the injuries/deaths will have been caused by a Thai or Thailand

Well that sword cuts both ways eh?

 

I sure would know before coming about Thailand's reputation & having the most dangerous roads in the world.

 

To be honest the ones I hear about being injured most are drunk on a motorcycle & usually short timers (tourists)

But then again it seems like a lot of this all started with the much advertised guy from Chiang Rai remember? (Graham?)

He needed a heart operation & couldn't pay...then got a go fund me & came up with the money but died in recovery room

 

Then shortly after that I noticed Thai media running stories like...Most expats exist on only xx,xxx baht a month

You could see the tides turning.

 

 

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Problem I've found is the insurance companies mentioned so far in the scheme will never include pre-existing medical conditions, probably a very good reason I would need a hospital stay would be due to pre-existing conditions which are currently medicated and I self insure..

So, personally, it would be mean buying insurance which I could probably never use.

I would prefer to contribute to the Thai health system yearly not some fat cat private health company. All it would take is an additional document, showing payment into the health authority, when I renew my extension.

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I don't believe for a minute that this will actually help the financially strapped hospitals. I do believe that it's designed to help the insurance companies increase their bank accounts. If it is actually true that farangs are at fault for the hospitals problems (which I highly doubt) all they would have to do is send a patient's passport number to immigration on the day of any medical procedure being done and immigration would not let anyone leave Thailand who had an outstanding medical bill where the hospital hadn't given them clearance.

After reading through some of the provided insurance company policies on what wasn't covered, I began to wonder if they would cover anything at all. The insurance companies have so many loop holes that I don't think they will be paying out on many claims. 

This leaves the farang to not only pay for a huge deductible or the whole hospital bill but on top of that he/she would have to come up with the annual policy amount of 60,000 to 100,000 baht (depending on age) just to have a policy. So bottom line is I see this as a farang having to come up with an extra 60,000 to 100,000 baht per year just to be allowed to stay in Thailand and not get anything for it except a worthless piece of paper stating that they have "insurance coverage". 

This brings us back to square one. There won't really be any money going to the hospitals from the insurance companies and the government will have to blame somebody else for their incompetence. 

 

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40,000 is a rediculous sum of money,  i have said this before, but worth repeating a friend had 2 operations for skin cancer, his bill was 6000.  i went in to the gov hospital, had the works, tests  etc x ray,  got tablets, my bill 1200 baht, they are taking the piss. talk about insurance scam, yes they are the scammers, anyhow i am too old for this crap, i can self finance, but it looks like they want your money full stop. any other country is looking good for me at this moment in time

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