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BANGKOK 22 July 2019 15:01
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Mandatory health insurance for foreigners aged over 50 in Thailand - why it may not affect you

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3 hours ago, jessc said:

I thought this article was clear and helpful, even if the rules still are not. Thanks!

However, a suggestion: should this new requirement for mandatory health insurance ever be extended to apply to extensions based on retirement, perhaps the health insurance that Thai Visa is selling (notably, right along side these articles) could also be available to the full range of retirees who've lived in Thailand for many years - - often because paying full rate for medical care in Thailand is STILL less expensive than buying insurance back home. Currently the Pacific Cross insurance Thai Visa is hawking only covers people to age 64.

The expats who will be most effected by this requirement, if applied to extensions based on retirement, are those who have retired here on a fixed income, and who have aged out of basically any insurance (affordable or otherwise) available for purchase in Thailand. So, even if financially able to buy the insurance, they can't. And, likely, have no where to go to if unable to stay in Thailand.

Hi this is incorrect, I work for Pacific Cross and we take on people up to 75 years old. I can see why you think that however as the prices quoted only go up to 65 but we are getting our site updated to include up to 75.

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20 minutes ago, rayw said:

Well alternatives are available.  Like I hope most folks do, when I retired back in 2003 and moved here from the UK,  where of course we don't need to waste our little available spare money on health insurance, the first thing I did was a no brainer and that was to get myself a health insurance package.  The capital I then had was needed to buy somewhere to live, furnish it and get a car too, so that left me with my regular monthly works pension income and the state lension once I reached 65, and that was enough for my Thai retirement visa requirements as I had planned my retirement pension needs with my work package. 

 

So I checked and found that if you took out cover health insurance here with the then BUPA Blue Cross Insurance (Now Aetna) before the age of 60, then they would guarantee to cover you for life.  True to their word I am 73 now and they still cover me without question with no added pre existing condition exceptions to my cover that I did not start the cover with back in 2003.   Of course the premium has risen quite a lot for me now in the 71 to 75 age group, but that is expected when you are this old.  They also do allow you to pay monthly, interest free and in arrears using an acceptable Thai bank debit card. 

 

To me the two essential things I did, and thoroughly recommend all new reitees here do, and before starting to settle down to having fun here, was to get my driving licence and health insurance sorted.  I always, like most of us I am sure, had been taught from a child to get the work done and out of the way first and only then play.  Absolutely vital and very silly not to get a sutable health insurance cover immediately on retiring here, unless you have a lot of money you can and are prepared to call on it when needed. Few pensioners I know can do that though as most are living okay and reasonably well here from one pension payday to the next, as indeed I do now too. 

 

All I was not happy about with the new proposed visa scheme set oujt here yesterday, was that they were asking for Outpatient cover, which I do not want and should not need to have IMHO, as I am quite happy to pay those small outlays (usually less than a 1000 Baht a visit and often only 200-400 Baht or so unless you go to the expensive big private hospitals) as and when they arise.  Geting OP insruance cover is quite a lot more expensive than OP only which most folks get, and it also is likley each year you would make OP claims and that would mean you do not get any no claim bonus (usually 10% ) back each year when you don't end up in hospital for any illness, which is the casr for most years for most of us. 

 

As a guide I am 73 and have a good Aetna Insurance Emerald plan my monthly premium is for this year now 6740 Baht a month and that gives me 500K per illness cover, 60K Baht accidental death cover, and with 4000 a day for hospital room and service, which is more than enough for a private room at just about all good state hospitals.  Clearly though not enough for the incredibly over priced big private hospital operations that are to theri credit great hospitals (some of them the best in the World I have ever seen), but way way too overpriced and IMHO rip off, and thus for many they easlily end up with some insurance excess to pay after in patient treatment.  Most ordinary poor pensioners I know cannot afford such an excess outlay and thus look for a good Thai state hospital, as most big towns and cities have.  Such a policy for one just under 60 is way way much cheaper and indeed probably less than a 1/3 of that cost for the same cover with 2 cheaper slightly lower cover packages available too.  I have no complaints at all with them and have had several claims over the years I have been here.  In fact I have found them to be first class and extremely helpful when the time comes to need their help when you have to go into hospital.  As I said many alternatives are available but I was just trying to give some useful info as to what is available for those that want it by giving an example of my experience. 

 

To live in Thailand as a falang without any health insurance cover is IMHO very silly and irresponsible.  Getting suitable cover should be one of the very first things you do when you retire here to Thailand before the fun starts. Sorry for long post but wanted to give sufficient info to be useful.

Do you have out patient to 40,000?

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3 hours ago, jessc said:

I thought this article was clear and helpful, even if the rules still are not. Thanks!

However, a suggestion: should this new requirement for mandatory health insurance ever be extended to apply to extensions based on retirement, perhaps the health insurance that Thai Visa is selling (notably, right along side these articles) could also be available to the full range of retirees who've lived in Thailand for many years - - often because paying full rate for medical care in Thailand is STILL less expensive than buying insurance back home. Currently the Pacific Cross insurance Thai Visa is hawking only covers people to age 64.

The expats who will be most effected by this requirement, if applied to extensions based on retirement, are those who have retired here on a fixed income, and who have aged out of basically any insurance (affordable or otherwise) available for purchase in Thailand. So, even if financially able to buy the insurance, they can't. And, likely, have no where to go to if unable to stay in Thailand.

Your comment about PC only covering to age 64 is completely wrong. PC accept new clients up to age 75. New clients 65 and over must have a full medical examination before being accepted. Once accepted PC will renew your plan until the day you die, even if you live to 110 or older. They have even come out with a new series of Platinum Plans for the over 50's, based on the new requirements. The same conditions with regards to age still apply.

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3 hours ago, ThaiPauly said:

So how about marriage visas, are they exempt too?

Mine was based initially on marriage which I subsequently  changed to an extension based on retirement and plan switching back to marriage in January due to financial changes. My original visa (based on marriage) clearly says Non immigrant O (not OA) so I don’t think the marriage vs retirement aspect is relevant,just whether it’s O or OA.

 

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4 minutes ago, SteveBangkok said:

Hi this is incorrect, I work for Pacific Cross and we take on people up to 75 years old. I can see why you think that however as the prices quoted only go up to 65 but we are getting our site updated to include up to 75.

Well, at least you admitted where you're coming from on this issue. I do respect that. Can't be sure about so many others.

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44 minutes ago, alzack said:

I dont think this is off topic, but maybe you might take it on board. we returned to live in the uk 2016. my Thai wife's  UK visa was all ok, but we had to pay almost £900  (about 38,000 baht) for a 2.5 year UK national health insurance for her. Once she becomes full resident, she will of course have access to full free National health here.  So its not a lot to ask expats to have that security for health. But older ex pats could feel the pinch, if they are too old to get a policy, they could will see the bank money they need go way up.

I would gladly pay that for a two and a half year policy at my age they want a 100,000 baht payment for a worthless plan

 

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Just to ad further confusion to this entire topic, there are only 6 health Insurance Companies, at present, that are authorized to provide this compulsory insurance for the over 50's. They can be found on the link in the previous topic yesterday. At this point Immigration will not accept any other health insurance issued in Thailand.

 

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5 minutes ago, SteveBangkok said:

Hi this is incorrect, I work for Pacific Cross and we take on people up to 75 years old. I can see why you think that however as the prices quoted only go up to 65 but we are getting our site updated to include up to 75.

Is the new insurance law for expats only for O-A visa holders or is it for anyone getting a retirement extension?

 

Since you are  selling insurance for it I assume you must know.

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4 hours ago, Thailand said:

As usual IO's will consider it open to their own interpretation.

Based on the available information, I see no involvement of immigration officials. The non-immigrant visa OA is issued by Thai embassies and consulates and it is they who will have to ascertain that visa applicants are compliant with the health insurance requirements.

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