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Elderly expats dazed and confused over insurance, ‘retirement visas’ and COVID


webfact
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13 minutes ago, webfact said:

 

By Jonathan Fairfield

 

A new policy concerning insurance for so called ‘retirement visas’, as well as the requirements needed for anyone entering Thailand have sparked concern, confusion and even panic amongst elderly expats.

 

A recent article by the Pattaya Mail revealed how some older expats now felt “trapped” in Thailand due to new rules recently rolled out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 

The new rules which are in accordance with the Thailand Pass system, launched on November 1, state that foreigners who enter Thailand need to provide health insurance with a minimum treatment coverage of 50,000 USD or equivalent in any other currencies.

 

The concerns raised by the expats who spoke to the Pattaya Mail are that if they were to leave Thailand and visit their home country, they would have difficulty meeting the insurance requirements needed for them to re-enter the country. 

 

The concern mainly comes from elderly expats who due to their age or having pre-existing health conditions means that obtaining insurance is at best expensive or at worst impossible. 

 

For others, they simply can not afford to purchase the insurance one currently needs to visit Thailand.

 

Pattaya Mail’s article raises some valid points, particularly for elderly expats who wish to return home to visit friends and relatives, which for many has not been possible for almost two years.

 

However, a short time after the article was published online, a thread started on ASEAN NOW, the comments of which highlighted the confusion among some expats regarding a number of issues related to insurance for so-called ‘retirement visas’ and the current requirements for people wishing to enter Thailand.

 

Non-Immigrant “O-A” visa vs Non Immigrant O extension

 

The confusion is predominantly caused by a separate change to the policy for anyone wishing to apply for a Non-Immigrant “O-A” visa.

 

Non-Immigrant “O-A” visas are available to people aged over 50 who wish to stay in Thailand for 1 year. 

 

Since October 1, applicants are required to have health insurance which offers minimum coverage up to 3 million baht for inpatient care.

 

However, it is important to note that this requirement only applies to O-A visas.

 

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22 minutes ago, NE1 said:

Non-Immigrant “O-A” visa vs Non Immigrant O extension

 

The confusion is predominantly caused by a separate change to the policy for anyone wishing to apply for a Non-Immigrant “O-A” visa.

 

Non-Immigrant “O-A” visas are available to people aged over 50 who wish to stay in Thailand for 1 year. 

 

Since October 1, applicants are required to have health insurance which offers minimum coverage up to 3 million baht for inpatient care.

 

However, it is important to note that this requirement only applies to O-A visas.

This is the latest post on here from WebFact this morning.

 

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I'm here on Non O A and have bought that wonderful  (Not) insurance from LMG.

7000 a year..

If I go out with a re-entry permit does that insurance meet the needs when I return?

My current permisson to stay expires in 7 months. If LMG is as worthless as I believe...I would have to buy 7 or so months of travel insurance., or come back Visa exempt. Then convert to Non O.

Hate to lose the 7 months I have left now..

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57 minutes ago, webfact said:

However, those with a work permit can show a valid social security card or certified letter from their employer.

What is this???

Out of the blue.

 

58 minutes ago, webfact said:

currently no requirement for anyone on a Non Immigrant O extension to have health insurance - apart from if they wish to re-enter Thailand, which is a requirement for all foreigners, regardless of their visa status. 

This is a bit disingenuous because de facto you must have insurance. Period. It's not ....not a requirement BUT it's a requirement.

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8 minutes ago, finnsk said:

I do not believe there is many western visa holders who is leaving the country with unpaid hospital bills.

I do believe there is a lot of Myanmar, Laos illegal workers who can not pay their hospital bills.

But in thai logic we/they are all tourists, so now the retirement people must pay for the illegal workers.

 

In my mind the thai society could/should make a fair health care tax for retirement people to enter at the public hospital system on the same conditions as the thai people

Do you remember a few months back there was an article about Thai mortuaries being rammed full of farang cadavers nobody claims. I have read that after 30 days unclaimed corpses receive a mass pauper's cremation, the cost of which plus storage expenses, transport, handling and administration is borne by the Thai Government. 

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1 minute ago, Chad3000 said:

However, those with a work permit can show a valid social security card or certified letter from their employer.

I have a valid Thai Social Security card and am on O retirement extensions. Don't need WP or letter.

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This still doesn't answer my question.

Hypothetical:-

I renew my 'O' Visa extension for another year on Dec 1, 2021.

I visit my home country in Jan 2022 for a month with a Re-entry Permit for my return.

Do I buy $50K worth(less) of insurance to cover me for 10 months to 2 Dec, 2022 (Re-entry Permit & Extension expiry)? Or be honest with them as I actually do not intend to travel again for at least another year beyond that. Which really means I don't know how long I will be in country. BUT I assume one has to be covered for the length of their current extension??

 

Currently I have no intention or need to travel until these slow learners stop confusing me.

 

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