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Hi all,

 

My first post so please be gentle 🙂

 

I plan to apply for retirement visa within the next few months (hoping to start my early retirement in Thailand by late December this year  - assuming travel restrictions due to COVID19 are eased by then).

I will be 53 years old and currently reside in Australia. I have all the necessary requirements for the O-A Long Retirement Visa sorted out except for the health insurance part.

I have been searching the Thai Embassy website in Australia and came across the company list for Thai Health Insurance.

A few questions if I may:

1. Are we required to only use the ones on the list?

2. From the people within this forum, what is the consensus on which one is best value for money etc? (I'm guessing just start with the basic insurance that covers the mandatory Inpatient of 400,000 Baht and the Outpatient of 40,000 Baht)

3. I note the Thai Embassy want an original copy of the insurance certificate - what has been the experience with you guys with them posting out overseas the appropriate paperwork (and do they send an English and Thai version?)

 

Thanks in advance for any advice / assistance

 

companies_contact_list.pdf

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Posted (edited)

DO NOT BUY THAT NON IMMIGRANT O-A.... just avoid all that hassle with Health insurance....

 

glegolo

Edited by glegolo
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16 hours ago, Peter Denis said:

...

Note > I am a bit in a hurry now, but will answer your specific questions later...

To answer your questions:

 

1a - When you APPLY for the Non Imm O-A (long-stay) Visa in your home-country, the thai Embassy/Consulate where you apply in principle accepts ANY non-thai policy that covers you while staying in Thailand and meets the 400K in-patient / 40K out-patient requirements.  HOWEVER, you would have to provide the thai Embassy/Consulate with a copy of your non-thai policy as well as the filled-in Foreign Insurance Certificate (FIC).  And that FIC is often the bottleneck, because even if you have an international policy covering you in Thailand that provides coverage well beyond the very low 400/40K in/out-patient coverage, the problem will be to have your foreign insurer sign that FIC as it refers to thai legislation with which they will not be familiar.  So the chance that your foreign insurer will sign that document is very small, but they might be willing to do so if you have a good personal relationship with your insurance agent.

Note: The document also requires 2 'director' signatures, but that is a bad thai translation, so a signature by your insurance agent and a sales rep would do.  Obviously it is recommended that they also apply a stamp with their function on the document.

1b - Apart from foreign insurance that requires the FIC, the thai Embassy/Consulate will also accept a thai IO-approved policy issued by a TGIA associated insurer, as featured on the TGIA website.  Please note that NOT all policies by a TGIA associated insurer are IO-approved (even if they exceed the 400K/40K minimum coverage requirement).  If you subscribe to a thai IO-approved policy you would also need to provide the thai Embassy/Consulate with the Health-Insurance Certificate provided by your thai insurer stating that your policy meets the 400K/40K requirements.

 

2 - The thai IO-approved health-insurance policies that are accepted by IO, are exorbitantly expensive for the small amount of coverage they provide.  Therefore your best choice is the dirt-cheapest policy of the lot, and that is the LMG Insurance Plan 1 (200K deductible) policy with an annual premium of 6.000 THB to 11.400 THB in the age-bracket of 51 to 75 years.

An additional advantage of that policy is that it does not require an (expensive) medical exam, and that you only need to fill in the extensive questionnaire when subscribing to that policy.

Obviously it would be wise not to tick any 'pre-existing conditions' that might trigger a refusal of your application.

Please note that content-wise that LMG policy is as good as worthless (like most of these thai IO-approved policies), so it should only be regarded as an 'entry-ticket' which allows you to meet the mandatory Non Imm O-A health-insurance requirement.

And obviously it is highly recommended when staying long-term in Thailand to subscribe to a REAL healht-insurance policy which would cover you in case of catastrophic accident/illness.

 

3 - I have never come across a report of someone applying for the Non Imm O-A Visa using a Health-Insurance certificate issued by a thai IO-approved insurer.  But with the only recently launched and somewhat affordable LMG Insurance policy, that will for sure happen soon.

In that case, I would enquire at the thai Embassy/Consulate where you apply, whether indeed they want the ORIGINAL certificate or whether a PDF-version is acceptable.

 

Additional note: The expiry date of the foreign or thai Io-approved policy will be added as a note to the Non Imm O-A Visa sticker in your passport.  On entering Thaiiand, border-mmigration will stamp you in for the 1-year permission to stay the Non Imm O-A Visa entitles you to, OR the expiry date of your health-insurance policy as marked in your passport (and on the Certificate) - whichever is shorter.  So if you can persuade your foreign insurer to provide you with a 2 year valid HI-policy, that would enable you to make use of the almost 2 years permission to stay the Non Imm O-A Visa can provide you.  Alternatively if you were only able to buy a 1-year policy you would have to buy a new health-insurance policy in Thailand at the end of that 1-year policy, when wanting to make use of the potential 2nd year a Non Imm O-A Visa can provide you.

 

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17 hours ago, DrJack54 said:

Stop right there. I realize you have put effort into O-A so far.

Forget it. Yes you cannot obtain non- O based on retirement in AU.

However look into alternatives.

This guy can give advice on those along with insurance idea if you continue O-A route. @Peter Denis

I would not obtain a non O-A.

I would fly in visa exempt or setv and obtain non o at immigration here in Thailand and obtain non O followed by annual extension. No insurance necessary.

 

As DrJack describes above, that is the way to go.  It is exactly the method I followed and had no issues.  Once in Thailand I shopped around for health insurance not because I had to, but because it is a good idea to have some coverage for the unexpected.  I bought a much better policy for a lot less cost.

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Non O-A has been killed with the ridiculous insurance requirement.

I entered with one in 2011(!) and now hang in limbo what I will do in October when extension is due.

So just: +1, forget it.

 

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17 hours ago, glegolo said:

DO NOT BUY THAT NON IMMIGRANT O-A.... just avoid all that hassle with Health insurance....

 

glegolo

Actually, depending on your situation, it might still be very worthwhile to apply for the 1-year Non Imm O-A Visa in your home-country.

And that would surely be the case if you have already have foreign or thai health-insurance that meets the 400k/40K in/out patient coverage requirements AND you are able to get the required certificates ( FIC signed by your foreigin insurer or Certificate provided by your thai TGIA associated insurer ).

If you don't have insurance that meets the requirements, it's a matter of balancing whether the cost for the cheapest thai IO-approved insurance (LMG at 6.000 THB in age bracket 51 to 60 years) is worth not having to park 800K/400K in a thai bank-account or having to transfer 65K monthly, to meet the Non Imm O - retirement Visa financial criteria.

Note: If you are eligible for the Embassy-letter based on foreign income, then indeed you should not bother with a Non Imm O-A Visa and its mandatory health-insurance, because you could then get the Non Imm O - retirement Visa without any financials required in a thai bank.

However that Embassy-letter is not possible anymore for US, UK and Australian citizens.

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5 minutes ago, Peter Denis said:

Actually, depending on your situation, it might still be very worthwhile to apply for the 1-year Non Imm O-A Visa in your home-country.

And that would surely be the case if you have already have foreign or thai health-insurance that meets the 400k/40K in/out patient coverage requirements AND you are able to get the required certificates ( FIC signed by your foreigin insurer or Certificate provided by your thai TGIA associated insurer ).

If you don't have insurance that meets the requirements, it's a matter of balancing whether the cost for the cheapest thai IO-approved insurance (LMG at 6.000 THB in age bracket 51 to 60 years) is worth not having to park 800K/400K in a thai bank-account or having to transfer 65K monthly, to meet the Non Imm O - retirement Visa financial criteria.

Note: If you are eligible for the Embassy-letter based on foreign income, then indeed you should not bother with a Non Imm O-A Visa and its mandatory health-insurance, because you could then get the Non Imm O - retirement Visa without any financials required in a thai bank.

However that Embassy-letter is not possible anymore for US, UK and Australian citizens.

As you are defending the Non Immigrant O-A......... I do really suspect that you have one yourself.....

glegolo

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24 minutes ago, glegolo said:

As you are defending the Non Immigrant O-A......... I do really suspect that you have one yourself.....

glegolo

I am not defending the Non Imm O-A Visa.

I am simply advocating to opt for the Visa that best meets your needs.

That can be:

- 1-year Non Imm O-A Visa

- In-country 90-day Non Imm O - retirement Visa and subsequent 1-year extension

- 1-year MultipleEntry Non Imm O retirement Visa (at the thai consulate in Savannakhet)

- EliteVisa

- MultipleEntry Tourist Visa

I have recommended each of the above depending on the applicants situation.

Navigating the thai Visa jungle is not always an easy undertaking...

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Posted (edited)

 

 

ää

Edited by glegolo
  • Confused 1

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23 minutes ago, Peter Denis said:

I am not defending the Non Imm O-A Visa.

I am simply advocating to opt for the Visa that best meets your needs.

That can be:

- 1-year Non Imm O-A Visa

- In-country 90-day Non Imm O - retirement Visa and subsequent 1-year extension

- 1-year MultipleEntry Non Imm O retirement Visa (at the thai consulate in Savannakhet)

- EliteVisa

- MultipleEntry Tourist Visa

I have recommended each of the above depending on the applicants situation.

Navigating the thai Visa jungle is not always an easy undertaking...

I would NOT recommend that route you are suggesting. I am NOT that afraid of going to the immigration and apply for an extension of stay. I have not heard before that Sisaket is that lousy Immigration to deal with as you suggest...

 

glegolo

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, glegolo said:

So you saying that Sisaket Immigration is a troublesom-immigration office??? Bad luck for you, mine here in Chaiyaphum is absolutely awesom,,, with no trouble whatsoeverr!!!

 

Yes I understood that you had a O-A youself, as we humans have a clear tendency to defend our choices, no matter how good or bad they are...

You are so wrong...

No I am not saying that at all.  I have been only once to my SiSaKet IO (for my very first 90-day report) and they are a friendly and helpful lot.

I applied for the Non Imm O-A Visa in my home-country BEFORE Oct 31, so no need for health-insurance at that moment.  For sure, it was then the best option to long-stay in Thailand, as it can provide you with almost 2 years of stay in Thailand without having to visit your IO or park/transfer any funds to a thai bank-account.

I advised many O-A Visa holders to switch to a Non Imm O - retirement Visa in order to avoid the mandatory thai IO-approved health-insurance, as that is indeed often the best option once you are already in Thailand.

But if you are going regularly to your home-country AND you already meet the health-insurance requirement, it is worthwhile to re-apply for a Non Imm O-A Visa. 

And of course I am not 'emotionally attached' to my present O-A Visa.

Edited by Peter Denis

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15 minutes ago, glegolo said:

I would NOT recommend that route you are suggesting. I am NOT that afraid of going to the immigration and apply for an extension of stay. I have not heard before that Sisaket is that lousy Immigration to deal with as you suggest...

 

glegolo

Where did I say that SisaKet IO is a lousy office?  On the contrary, they are probably one of the best offices in the country - strict but fair, as well as friendly.

And of course I am not afraid to apply for an extension of stay.  What gives you that crazy idea?

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