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Mandatory health insurance due for long stay tourists

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11 hours ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 

Part of the issue about costs is ultimately resolving just what kind of Thai health insurance policies will be deemed acceptable to meet the government's O-A requirement.

 

The policies listed and linked on the Longstay TGIA website as meeting the government's new requirement all have very high premiums that get even higher with age -- supposedly because they were packaged and quoted by those insurers to a coverage group (O-As) that's 100% age 50 and above.

 

On the other hand, a lot of those same companies offer general market health insurance policies to anyone of any age that also meet the 400K/40K IPD/OPD coverage requirements, and those are the ones that generally have lower annual premiums, like the 20K baht figure you mentioned for someone about age 50.

 

It may turn out to be that those general market Thai insurance policies with the lower premiums will end up being acceptable as meeting the O-A requirement, though that's not entirely clear right now. (And the Immigration regulation right now specifies that qualifying policies can only be purchased thru the TGIA Longstay website and its links to O-A only policies, though at least one involved insurer is now saying all of their qualifying general market policies also should be acceptable).

 

A lot of the premium shock that people expressed when the Thai authorities first announced this B.S. was based on the prices of the O-A program only policies.

 

There is no limit to what policy you have to get, and most  of the links on the tgia website don't go to anty specific policy, just the company website. Any policy offered by the listed companies which is at least 400/40 will do, nowhere is it or suggested written otherwise. . BUT you will find that (1) these are ALL very expensive due to the OPD cover; (2) with just 1-2 exceptions, most of the companies have no policy to offer for people enrolling after age 65; and (3) with just a few exceptions, most of the policies do not guarantee lifetime renewal. Many cut you off by age 70.

 

What is not clear is whether policies from companies other than those listed  will be accepted.  I have heard from my broker that April Thailand policies will be because they are underwritten by LMG and LMG has confirmed they will issue the certificate for these (still have to have the OPD cover though, which for most people will mean upgrading to a much more costly policy).  I think it likely same will be true of other Thai-based insurers IF one of the  listed companies is their underwriter.

 

No idea at this stage  whether other local policies not underwritten by the listed companies will be accepted nor the situation for foreign policies.

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3 hours ago, Sheryl said:

most  of the links on the tgia website don't go to anty specific policy, just the company website.

 

When I look, I see the following company listings linking to specific policy offerings:

 

--Pacific Cross

--LMG

--Thai Health

--AXA

--Viriyah

 

Also, it may well be that any of the various listed insurers' policies that meet the 400/400K requirement will be accepted. But as I've noted here before, the Pacific Cross rep has posted here previously that originally, only the specific O-A policies were going to be accepted, but that was later changed, at least for Pacific Cross.

 

Also, I noted that on some of the less expensive general (non-OA specific) policies available, for their outpatient coverage, it's sometimes expressed as like 1500b or 2000b maximum per visit, with up to 30 visits per year.

 

So, if you total 1500 or 2000 times the maximum 30 visits, that gets you above the 40,000b OA outpatient requirement. But if you look at it on a per episode basis, obviously it doesn't.  The Immigration reg doesn't say 40K and 400K PER INCIDENT or even PER YEAR, just says need to have insurance "which covers the length of stay" in the country.

 

On the Pacific Cross O-A specific policies, in contrast, under the outpatient section, they only talk about coverage in terms of total maximums for the year, being 45K, 60K or 75K....

 

I raise the difference, just because it would be important to know and confirm in advance that any policy with a 30 visits X XXXX baht outpatient coverage provision is going to qualify for an O-A certificate and be accepted by Immigration.

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK

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4 minutes ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 

When I look, I see the following company listings linking to specific policy offerings:

 

--Pacific Cross

--LMG

--Thai Health

--AXA

--Viriyah

 

Also, it may well be that any of the various listed insurers' policies that meet the 400/400K requirement will be accepted. But as I've noted here before, the Pacific Cross rep has posted here previously that originally, only the specific O-A policies were going to be accepted, but that was later changed, at least for Pacific Cross.

 

 

Nowhere in either the police order or the "Guidelines" on the tgia website does it say anything about an O-A specific policy. In fact much the contrary,  it clearly states just a policy meeting the 400/40 requirement.

 

I suspect what you are reporting is from conversations prior to the drafting and release of the police order. This thing has been in the works for years and there have been many meetings over that time between insurance agents, brokers and TI. Many things were considered during that interval and subsequently changed or discarded.

 

I do not think it useful to keep bringing up comments made before issuance of the police order. You may seriously mislead people. No specific policy is required, just a policy with at least 400K inpt and 40K outpt cover, full stop.

 

(and probably also from one of the listed companies though this point remains to be clarified).

 

To be more precise: what is needed is a certificate on the letterhead of one of those companies stating you have a policy that meets TI requirements. So when discussing a policy with an insurer the question  should be" if I buy this policy will you issue me the O-A visa  letter for immigration?"

 

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I think the crux of this whole situation is that no one in their right mind will bother with the OA visa in future, with its Thai insurance requirement. Its way way to expensive, the OA visa will end up being a visa on offer that no one takes up. People will find other ways to visit Thailand. 
I am seriously worried of the direction that Thailand is going in. 
I have been looking at the new e visa application system implemented in London. It is an absolute pile of *****. How any nation who is serious about attracting people to visit even on a simple tourist visa can have a system like this astounds me. It is an appalling system that most people will not even bother with, full of bugs and errors and stupid requirements. Amazingly ignorant of the Thai authorities to allow this system to go live. This will have a big impact on the people from the UK coming to Thailand on any sort of Visa. Its just too complicated.
The problem is that options are limited. In the US a retiree can't get an METV or O visa, at least not according to Embassy and consulate websites. It is O-A or single entry TR .

Sent from my SM-J701F using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app

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5 minutes ago, Sheryl said:

I do not think it useful to keep bringing up comments made before issuance of the police order. You may seriously mislead people. No specific policy is required, just a policy with at least 400K inpt and 40K outpt cover, full stop.

 

I never said it IS required. I said it WAS required at a prior point in time in the development of the insurance requirement...  And the Pacific Cross reps comments on the broader acceptance of all policies was made here just in the past couple days...

 

 

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK

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5 minutes ago, zydeco said:

Welcome to your carefree, relaxing retirement in Thailand, where you spend the majority of your time constantly worrying about the minutiae of health insurance policies, immigration income requirement changes, wondering if your weekend trip to the next province 2 km away will require a notification in person of the immigration bureau which is 45 km away, and whether the rules effecting your stay after two or more decades can be arbitrarily changed on a whim with less than three weeks warning.

You're either going to be staying with friends and family or a hotel. you won't need to report anything

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Go right back to the beginning and read everything again. The mandatory insurance is only for those on the O-A retirement visa
Meaning what exactly. Old ones. New ones. Extensions?

You don't really know for sure and I would argue at this point nobody does.

Sent from my Lenovo A7020a48 using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app

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That's assuming that future rule changes don't end up also applying a health insurance requirement to future TE visas specifically, and/or tourist class visas in general.
 
Of course we can't make any such assumptions.

Sent from my Lenovo A7020a48 using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app

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1 hour ago, Sheryl said:

To be more precise: what is needed is a certificate on the letterhead of one of those companies stating you have a policy that meets TI requirements. So when discussing a policy with an insurer the question  should be" if I buy this policy will you issue me the O-A visa  letter for immigration?"

Is the information regarding the certificate on headed notepaper something you have learned about from talking to the Thai insurance companies? The only certificate I've seen is the one for foreign companies. If there is flexibility in exactly what the companies can write, that would help a lot.

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1 hour ago, Sheryl said:

The problem is that options are limited. In the US a retiree can't get an METV or O visa, at least not according to Embassy and consulate websites. It is O-A or single entry TR .

Sent from my SM-J701F using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app
 

Not doubting your word, but I had a quick look. That appears to be correct and its very supprising, as other consulates in other countries offer them. Just be thankfull that the US have not started to use e visa yet. Have a look at the UK site if you fancy a laugh. You can register and start a dummy application, lie and say you are from the UK and see what the pitfalls are coming the way of every visa applcation soon.

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10 minutes ago, Exploring Thailand said:

Is the information regarding the certificate on headed notepaper something you have learned about from talking to the Thai insurance companies? The only certificate I've seen is the one for foreign companies. If there is flexibility in exactly what the companies can write, that would help a lot.

 

I got this information from local brokers and I have elsewhere posted a copy of the form being used by Pacific Cross, it is almost word for word the same as the one for foreign companies.

 

I don't think there isn't going to be flexibility, Imm is going to want standard wording and very short and to the point. The last thing they want is a lot of words explaining ins and outs of a policy (e.g.:"  there is no separate limit for OPD, the USD 1 million limit apples to both combined..." "OPD visits are covered but only for conditions XYZ and post-hospitalization"  "covered subject to a deductible of XX" ) etc though these things are in fact often the case with foreign policies.

 

This as well as clarifying that Imm will accept foreign policies is the issue. Western companies tend to think very legalistically and literally  and will not want to sign something attesting to immigration regulations they do not understand or that are not clearly spelled out, or that differ one iota from the exact wording of their own policies. They'll want to provide instead a summary of the policy benefits - if they are willing to pay attention to the issue at all.

 

I forget now which thread but there was someone working on this with their insurer and they were asked to provide an English language copy of the Cabinet Resolution....!

 

If the foreign policy is obtained via a Thailand based broker there is more chance I think. Broker, representing not one but many clients, is better positioned to explain the need to an insurance company and get them to sign.  But last I heard even local Brokers did nto know if foreign policies will be accepted. Police order makes no mention.

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5 minutes ago, jimn said:

Not doubting your word, but I had a quick look. That appears to be correct and its very supprising, as other consulates in other countries offer them. Just be thankfull that the US have not started to use e visa yet. Have a look at the UK site if you fancy a laugh. You can register and start a dummy application, lie and say you are from the UK and see what the pitfalls are coming the way of every visa applcation soon.

 

No thanks, I have enough headaches of my own worrying about how to bring my aged aunt here!!!

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3 minutes ago, Sheryl said:

This as well as clarifying that Imm will accept foreign policies is the issue. Western companies tend to think very legalistically and literally  and will not want to sign something attesting to immigration regulations they do not understand or that are not clearly spelled out, or that differ one iota from the exact wording of their own policies. They'll want to provide instead a summary of the policy benefits - if they are willing to pay attention to the issue at all.

 

I forget now which thread but there was someone working on this with their insurer and they were asked to provide an English language copy of the Cabinet Resolution....!

Exactly. I think the clause about the cabinet resolution is going to be the stumbling block. And there's no need for it to be there. All they really need is the company to confirm the 400/40. As far I know the resolution doesn't add any additional requirements. As TI seems to have farmed all of this of to the insurers, I'm wondering it they might be the ones who actually drew up that certificate. 

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1 hour ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 

When I look, I see the following company listings linking to specific policy offerings:

 

--Pacific Cross

--LMG

--Thai Health

--AXA

--Viriyah

 

 

 

Thai health directs you to a [page detailing their most expensive plan but same page has links to other plans as well.

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