Thailand has a good reputation in terms of medical care. And it allows expatriates to benefit from its public health care system.
Anyways, it’s highly recommended to get private expat health insurance in Thailand.
In this article, you are going to read why. There is also useful information on the different options you have available, and how to choose the best one for you.
Medical Insurance for Expats in Thailand with their Local Health System
Mandatory Affiliation to the Public Health Insurance for Foreigners in Thailand
It is mandatory to join the local health insurance system when you are an expat in Thailand. This affiliation allows you to get free care in the centers in your area.
It is thus a limited advantage. It does not make it possible to choose a doctor and sometimes involves important waiting times.
This is because of the congestion that the public medical centers suffer.
The Private Sector, Often Unavoidable for an Expat
If you want to benefit from reduced delays and get access to centers with modern equipment, you should get private health insurance in Thailand.
But take in mind that the assistance can get costly quickly. Even if this country is not among the ones where health is the most expensive.
For an expatriate who does not live in a big city, it is necessary to add transport costs when the center is distant from the residence.
And these expenses are not covered by Thai health insurance. They are entirely at your expense.
The subscription of an expat health insurance in Thailand makes then all its sense. Even if it does not exempt you from the affiliation to the local system.
Private Health Insurance in Thailand is Essential for an Expat
An Extended Protection
Getting insurance when you are an expat has other advantages. Most of the contracts include guarantees that the local health insurance does not cover.
One example is luggage insurance in case of loss or theft to legal assistance. Also, repatriation service, which is essential for any expat given the cost of such an operation.
And above all, good medical insurance for expats in Thailand will take care of your health expenses when you go to your home country or travel abroad.
Insurance is Mandatory in Some Cases
For some expats, taking out insurance is not optional.
Since 2019, it is mandatory for obtaining a long-stay visa (OA or OX) if you are over 50 years old.
It must be chosen from a list of companies recognized by the authorities, and it must cover some specific minimum guarantees.
Where to Buy Expat Health Insurance for Thailand?
International Insurance Companies
The best option to get health insurance for foreigners in Thailand is to look for an international company in your home country.
This will make everything easier. The contract will be managed in English, and you might even have the choice of receiving assistance abroad in this language.
It is important to verify that repatriation insurance and hospitalization costs are covered. This is what generally has the highest cost for an expatriate.
In the best cases, it is even possible to benefit from a waiver of advance payment with certain institutions.
It is important to verify that it’s easy to get in touch with your advisors. And that they can respond to any problems you might encounter.
The 1st Euro Packages: The Recommended Expat Health Insurance in Thailand
Many companies offer special insurance packages for expats. They are known as “from the 1st euro” and they are the best solution in most cases.
These contracts reimburse health expenses from the first euro and are specially designed to best cover the needs of expatriates.
There are numerous and very flexible formulas for expat health insurance in Thailand.
Online comparators are a very practical tool to make your choice more easily. They allow you to browse among all the offers and to obtain quotes quickly.
Social Security, Useful in Case of Medical Conditions
Another option in medical insurance for expats in Thailand is Social Security from your home country. In some cases, it will cover you abroad.
You should check exactly how this system works in your region since there are huge variations from one country to another.
Its biggest benefit lays in the fact that it doesn’t refuse any subscription, nor applies any exclusion or any additional premium.
It is therefore an interesting insurance option for a foreigner that suffers from medical pre-existing conditions.
Social Security can also be useful if you would like to get your expat health insurance in Thailand with their local public system.
This way you would be covered during your stay in your home country.
But its reimbursements might be insufficient to cover all the health expenses. For example, in cases involving the need for repatriation.
To be fully covered, you would need to get supplementary private insurance with another organization.