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CM Immigration Q&A (2018)

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39 minutes ago, CMBob said:

I take it you believe that people holding an O-A visa issued before November 1, 2019, have to obtain the insurance to obtain something (which I would guess would be an extension based on retirement or marriage given the "second" year of the O-A visa is only obtained by doing a re-entry into the country).  Presuming that's what you're saying or suggesting, why do you believe that?

Maybe she read this: http://www.khaosodenglish.com/news/2019/10/10/health-insurance-will-be-mandatory-for-retiree-visa-holders/. A friend of mine with an O-A has renewed twice and has never had to leave the country, so I don't believe you've got that one right.  Then there's this one: https://www.ttrweekly.com/site/2019/05/hefty-insurance-hovers-over-thai-visa/

Edited by cusanus

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56 minutes ago, cusanus said:

Maybe she read this: http://www.khaosodenglish.com/news/2019/10/10/health-insurance-will-be-mandatory-for-retiree-visa-holders/. A friend of mine with an O-A has renewed twice and has never had to leave the country, so I don't believe you've got that one right.  Then there's this one: https://www.ttrweekly.com/site/2019/05/hefty-insurance-hovers-over-thai-visa/

The first article you quote starts out:  "Starting Oct. 31, foreigners over 50 entering the country with an O-A visa must show that they have valid health insurance covering their period of stay, deputy public health minister Sathit Pitutecha said."  That clearly will be the rule for people who obtain an O-A visa after October 31, 2019 (or, perhaps, for those who obtained an 0-A visa prior to November 1, 2019, and first entered Thailand after October 31st, 2019).  I was referring to people already here before November 1, 2019, who are here on an O-A visa and are either going to grab a second year (by, let's say, hopping over to Burma and back) or who, at the end of their first or second year, apply for an extension based on retirement or marriage.  Do you happen to see anything promulgated by Immigration (Police) that indicates there will be any retroactive application of the new insurance rule to those people?  I'm not saying 100% that it won't happen (although, for people grabbing onto their second year by a border hop, it defies understanding how that will be enforced....is airport or border-crossing Immigration going to say you can't come in or get your second year without showing your new long-stay insurance?) but I've seen nothing that says it will happen to those already here prior to November 1, 2019.  

What we agree on is that the new rule is clear that no Thai embassy/consulate in another country will apparently issue an 0-A visa to one of their citizens after October 31st unless the citizen provides as part of their application proof of the new "long-stay" insurance.  Starting next week, perhaps we might start getting reports from people who have already been here on an O-A visa and we'll start to understand if any retroactive application is applied for those seeking extensions within Thailand.

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1 hour ago, CMBob said:

The first article you quote starts out:  "Starting Oct. 31, foreigners over 50 entering the country with an O-A visa must show that they have valid health insurance covering their period of stay, deputy public health minister Sathit Pitutecha said."  That clearly will be the rule for people who obtain an O-A visa after October 31, 2019 (or, perhaps, for those who obtained an 0-A visa prior to November 1, 2019, and first entered Thailand after October 31st, 2019).  I was referring to people already here before November 1, 2019, who are here on an O-A visa and are either going to grab a second year (by, let's say, hopping over to Burma and back) or who, at the end of their first or second year, apply for an extension based on retirement or marriage.  Do you happen to see anything promulgated by Immigration (Police) that indicates there will be any retroactive application of the new insurance rule to those people?  I'm not saying 100% that it won't happen (although, for people grabbing onto their second year by a border hop, it defies understanding how that will be enforced....is airport or border-crossing Immigration going to say you can't come in or get your second year without showing your new long-stay insurance?) but I've seen nothing that says it will happen to those already here prior to November 1, 2019.  

What we agree on is that the new rule is clear that no Thai embassy/consulate in another country will apparently issue an 0-A visa to one of their citizens after October 31st unless the citizen provides as part of their application proof of the new "long-stay" insurance.  Starting next week, perhaps we might start getting reports from people who have already been here on an O-A visa and we'll start to understand if any retroactive application is applied for those seeking extensions within Thailand.

If you read a little farther, the official states clearly that it will apply to both those entering AND those seeking an extension. Right? 

 

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1 hour ago, cusanus said:

If you read a little farther, the official states clearly that it will apply to both those entering AND those seeking an extension. Right? 

 

To those affected by the new ruling, yes.  

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9 hours ago, CMBob said:

To those affected by the new ruling, yes.  

Not much clarity here. Hopefully it will not be my friend or any non Os

 

Edited by cusanus

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18 hours ago, CMBob said:

I take it you believe that people holding an O-A visa issued before November 1, 2019, have to obtain the insurance to obtain something (which I would guess would be an extension based on retirement or marriage given the "second" year of the O-A visa is only obtained by doing a re-entry into the country).  Presuming that's what you're saying or suggesting, why do you believe that?

 

Based on what a visa agent presented at the recent CM Expats Club General Meeting, yes, we were told that those who initially entered the country on an O-A visa and have been extending it each year will be asked for proof of insurance if they apply for an extension after October 31.

 

The visa agent pointed out the "non-imm O" loophole, which applies to Hubby and me.  I specifically asked about it.  A dozen years ago Hubby got an O-A visa from the Thai Chicago General Consul and I received an non-imm O as his dependent.  After entering Thailand, at some point I deposited 800,000 baht in a Thai bank solely in my name and received my own one-year retirement extensions.  So now we're both here on back-to-back one-year extensions due to retirement.

 

According to the visa agent speaking at the meeting, Hubby will need proof of insurance since he came in a dozen years ago on an O-A, but I won't since I came in on an O.

 

The way to check what you have if you no longer use the passport with your original visa is to look in the first page of visa stamps, where Immigration "transferred" your visa information.  It will clearly show if you had a "non-imm O" or an "non-imm O-A"

 

 

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8 hours ago, NancyL said:

Based on what a visa agent presented at the recent CM Expats Club General Meeting, yes, we were told that those who initially entered the country on an O-A visa and have been extending it each year will be asked for proof of insurance if they apply for an extension after October 31.

 

The visa agent pointed out the "non-imm O" loophole, which applies to Hubby and me.  I specifically asked about it.  A dozen years ago Hubby got an O-A visa from the Thai Chicago General Consul and I received an non-imm O as his dependent.  After entering Thailand, at some point I deposited 800,000 baht in a Thai bank solely in my name and received my own one-year retirement extensions.  So now we're both here on back-to-back one-year extensions due to retirement.

 

According to the visa agent speaking at the meeting, Hubby will need proof of insurance since he came in a dozen years ago on an O-A, but I won't since I came in on an O.

 

The way to check what you have if you no longer use the passport with your original visa is to look in the first page of visa stamps, where Immigration "transferred" your visa information.  It will clearly show if you had a "non-imm O" or an "non-imm O-A"

 

 

Read the latest edition of The Phuket Gazette as this ruling for health cover is dead in a ditch.

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On 10/28/2019 at 10:11 AM, Dcheech said:

Re entry – multiple re entry visa.

As there was too big a mob scene last week when I did my non O extension. What is a good time to turn up at CM immigration say on Wednesday or Thursday? Just doing the Re Entry nothing else. Mid-morning or 1330 ok. Or do I need to turn up at 0620   - Again (!!)
 

Do I get a ticket up at main office front desk again? Or shunted off upstairs? Any help for a newby appreciated.

 

Thanks

Once Thai Immigration requires health insurance for the one year visa extensions, there should be no more "mob scenes" at immigration.

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10 hours ago, Hugh Jarse said:

Read the latest edition of The Phuket Gazette as this ruling for health cover is dead in a ditch.

Well, delayed at least, and we most earnestly hope dead. You mean this: https://www.thephuketnews.com/health-check-phuket-immigration-confirms-mandatory-health-insurance-for-o-a-retirement-visas-not-in-force-72365.php#VVzZQPvi4qeHG1L7.97
I was hoping that Medicare in the US would fill any requirement, but it doesn't pay in Thailand. That's what I want to know! My friend has been paying about $1500 a year to keep her Medicare insurance so she could return to the states in case of a major emergency. Seems kind of strange that she wasn't allowed to leave either hospital after two major surgeries ten years ago until her bill was paid, so I don't understand how the medical system has been getting stuck. Perhaps the health insurance requirement isn't such a bad idea, but if the fees go over 100,000 baht at age 70, surely much more later, then that isn't a good deal at all. Thankfully, I'm in darned good health and well insured, but 1,000% sure I'll never run up a medical bill that I couldn't pay out of pocket if I had to and would most likely find a way to die before that happened. 

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21 minutes ago, cusanus said:

.....so I don't understand how the medical system has been getting stuck....

Nor do I.  According to multiple newspaper accounts, this new requirement all came about due to Thai hospitals (whether all or just government hospitals, they haven't said) losing a total of 16 million (US) dollars per year because of "foreigners" not paying their hospital bills. Would note:

(1)  They never mentioned who these "foreigners" were.  If they were including Lao, Burmese, and Cambodians, they likely outnumber westerners by 50+ to 1 and that group is probably a heck of lot more likely not to pay their hospital bills than westerners.  As to why they would target O-A visa holders, that's beyond me as it would seem that they (having to prove adequate funds in their home country bank) would not likely be the ones stiffing the Thai hospitals.

(2)  And the 16 million dollar figure is peanuts compared to what all of us expats pay to the Thai hospitals every year (and be mindful the Thai government has blessed the practice of private hospitals charging us more than Thais for the same services).  And that's not even dealing with the tons of money that Thai hospitals take in via medical tourism.  All in all, I'd think that Thai hospitals (at least the private ones) would be in bankruptcy proceedings but for the expat and medical tourism money.

(3)  I presume...but obviously don't know...that the Thai insurance companies lobbied for the new rule as they (and the few elite Thais who own those companies) are the ones who'll make some money on the new scheme.

 

 

 

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Health insurance will benefit the insurance companies but be of little help to the hospitals because much of the hospital fees will not be covered by the insurance due to preexisting conditions exclusions.

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3 hours ago, CMBob said:

(3)  I presume...but obviously don't know...that the Thai insurance companies lobbied for the new rule as they (and the few elite Thais who own those companies) are the ones who'll make some money on the new scheme.

Without question, and certainly why the issue is so clouded with uncertainty. Maybe I'm not typical, but I would never have come to Thailand 15 years ago if I'd had to factor that in. I've not paid much into health care, well under 5,000 baht, but I've pulled roughly 15 million baht into the Thai economy. I know quite a few like me, but never met anyone who left a hospital holding the bag. In my mathematician mind, the Thai government would be shooting Thailand in the foot for billions of bahts if this requirement is enforced. Of course, none of us has access to the statistics that could answer that question with any certainty. It's no more likely the Thai government does either, so what you have is an insurance lobby picking at the military mind. At this point, many would have little choice but to put up with it, and we will, but it won't help Thailand (IMHEO).   

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16 hours ago, Hugh Jarse said:

Read the latest edition of The Phuket Gazette as this ruling for health cover is dead in a ditch.

I can't see where it says that all.  Link please?

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1 hour ago, cusanus said:

Without question, and certainly why the issue is so clouded with uncertainty. Maybe I'm not typical, but I would never have come to Thailand 15 years ago if I'd had to factor that in. I've not paid much into health care, well under 5,000 baht, but I've pulled roughly 15 million baht into the Thai economy. I know quite a few like me, but never met anyone who left a hospital holding the bag. In my mathematician mind, the Thai government would be shooting Thailand in the foot for billions of bahts if this requirement is enforced. Of course, none of us has access to the statistics that could answer that question with any certainty. It's no more likely the Thai government does either, so what you have is an insurance lobby picking at the military mind. At this point, many would have little choice but to put up with it, and we will, but it won't help Thailand (IMHEO).   

I know dozens of people who have left a hospital "holding the bag".  I agree with the comments that tourists and seasonal "snowbird" visitors should have health insurance too.  

 

I don't understand why someone would retire to Thailand and not think about how they were going to cover major health crises -- yes plural.  Bills in excess of 1 million baht are more common than you think.  It's just that the health insurance plans being shoved down our throats are ones that address the real problem.

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2 hours ago, NancyL said:

I know dozens of people who have left a hospital "holding the bag".  I agree with the comments that tourists and seasonal "snowbird" visitors should have health insurance too.  I don't understand why someone would retire to Thailand and not think about how they were going to cover major health crises -- yes plural.  Bills in excess of 1 million baht are more common than you think.  It's just that the health insurance plans being shoved down our throats are ones that address the real problem.

Wow! Well, you definitely know a different class of people than myself, and different hospitals than the ones where my friend had surgeries years ago and wasn't allowed to leave until the bill was paid. Anyway, that was my point, wasn't it, that there isn't any data that we can be sure is on the level, not yours or mine, only that anybody in my class will not come to retire and dump everything they've got if they have to buy Thai insurance. What makes you think that people who don't have Thai insurance haven't thought this through, really, that's quite a judgment call? Should I take it personally? My cost for Thai insurance over 15 years would be more than $30,000 while all I've had to pay so far is about $150. But oh, God, who knows when I'll have a coronary and not be able to pay up (a million baht really isn't that tough for me to grub up)? My friend in your eyes is also irresponsible, though covered far better through Medicare. Yes, Medicare doesn't pay in Thailand, but is she not allowed to return to the states and collect on her investment? A lot of us didn't come to Thailand unprepared with empty pockets and heads. We have plans and back up plans that do not include ripping off the Thai medical system, only bringing everything we've earned over a lifetime and leaving it here. 

Oh, yeah, I posted the article you were asking about in an earlier post, but this should get you there:http://bit.ly/2BYdPZ2

 

 

Edited by cusanus

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