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Immigration to enforce mandatory health insurance for one-year O-A stays from Oct 31

Immigration to enforce mandatory health insurance for one-year O-A stays from Oct 31

PHUKET: The Immigration Bureau has announced that the mandatory health insurance requirement for foreigners applying for a one-year extension to stay based on a Non-Immigrant O-A visa will come into effect on Oct 31.

By The Phuket News

Wednesday 9 October 2019, 07:06PM

The announcement was posted on the Immigration Bureau website yesterday (Oct 8), stating that the change in the Immigration regulations follows the Cabinet resolution made on April 2 this year.

Under the new rule, all foreigners applying for a one-year permit to stay on an O-A visa must have health insurance coverage for up to B40,000 for outpatient services and up to B400,000 for inpatient services.

The order, issued by Royal Thai Police Commissioner-General Chakthip Chaijinda on Sept 27, specifically states that the new rule comes into effect on Oct 31, 2019.

The order notes that health policies offering such coverage are already available at the website

Laguna Golf Phuket

The order also states that policies issues by non-Thai insurance providers will be accepted as long as the B40,000 / B400,000 requirements are upheld. (See immigration order here. - keep scrolling down  to see requirements in English.)

The accompanying documents published with the order yesterday as the redrafted regulations note that under Section 2.22 “In case of retirement”, the applicant must satisfy the same financial criteria as explained to The Phuket News by Phuket Immigration Deputy Chief Lt Col Archeep Jaroensuntisuk in February – namely that applicants must have evidence of receiving a monthly income of at least B65,000, OR have B800,000 in Thai bank account.

The order published full B800,000 must remain in the Thai bank account at least two months before the date of the application and at least three months after the application has been filed – and must never fall below B400,000 throughout the year. (See story here.)

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Christy Sweet | 11 October 2019 - 16:16:01

I believe the confusion arises from this sentence-"The accompanying documents published with the order yesterday as the redrafted regulations note that under Section 2.22 “In case of retirement,"  And the picture  also has text 
 re retirement requirements. Please clarify, TPN Ed. 

Christy Sweet | 11 October 2019 - 16:09:00

These sort of life up-heaving rule changes beg  grandfathering of existing retirees. Or at the very least, a  minimum one-year effective date. 
 (Unless the upheaval is the point.)

Kurt | 11 October 2019 - 10:45:04

After today there are only 13 working days left in October. Getting a health insurance in time when one has to renew/extent 'Retirement Visa'  before Oct 31st looks difficult.

Kurt | 11 October 2019 - 10:39:25

One of my friends came years ago to Thailand with a Non-Immigrant Visa category 'B'. ( for business/work). Once in Thailand he changed mind and applied for a 'Retirement' Visa, and extended that year after year since. Does he need now a health insurance too?  How about french people? They always have a french government health insurance.

Kurt | 11 October 2019 - 10:23:58

What is the difference for a Retiree between 'O' and "O-A'  visa?  Bot are non immigrant visa for people above 55.. Is that correct? I looked in google, can't see the significant difference.

Fascinated | 10 October 2019 - 17:01:20

Mass hysteria yet again. This is about O-A visas NOT Retirement Permits based on a Non-Imm O. Lemmings.

Kurt | 10 October 2019 - 15:22:12

The Immigration outpatient requirement of THB 40,000  ( just 1142 Euro's only) is ridiculous, seen in framework of  the  Thai THB 800,000 deposit obligation. Let the foreigner pay cash for simple outpatient treatments. It never exceeds THB 40,000.  And if needed, than allow use money from  THB 800,000 deposit, require the foreigner to top-up again in a few weeks time after hospital payment.

Kurt | 10 October 2019 - 14:30:45

I am familiar with foreign man, 46 year ( thai business visa, diagnosed cancer). Thai government hospital, noticing his low thai insurance coverage, didn't want to treat them. Just suggesting the man 'go back home country' for treatment.  With the low immigration requirement thai insurances this can be the 'medical fore land' of many foreigners here if they follow the immigrati...

Kurt | 10 October 2019 - 14:21:26

There we go again. I have a 1.5 million thb inpatient policy with a international world wide covering insurance ( except usa), outpatient bills I can pay cash. The amounts Immigration requires are laughable. Coverage can't be sufficient for thai International hospitals. This insurance matter is not well thought through. 

Shwe | 10 October 2019 - 11:06:27

so fedepar, you are suggesting that a retiree keeps 1.2M THB for 6 months and 800K THB for the other 6 months, You really think anyone would be dumb enough to do that?
If I cannot get outpatient coverage then I will take the 2M THB I spend here to another country.

Shwe | 10 October 2019 - 11:03:31

I have medical insurance for inpatient coverage up to 2M Thai baht. However as I am 71 my insurance company will not offer outpatient coverage. Looks like the goons at Immigration have screwed up gain, but maybe they did investigate and found this was another way to get rid of those pesky expat residents

GregoryJCS | 10 October 2019 - 10:41:20

So a foreigner must earn 8-10 times what a local does just to be able to stay one year. What a joke! No wonder so many people are choosing better destinations to retire to

goldwing | 10 October 2019 - 10:11:40

I read in another newspaper that this ruling does not affect existing retirees on O visas, is this correct, again a lot of confusion about who this applies to. Immigration should get an award for being the most imprecise  government body. 

fedepar | 10 October 2019 - 07:00:28

And what about elderly people with chronic illnesses, with enough money to afford to treat themselves, but that no insurance would be willing to cover?
Would an additional 400,000 baht deposit be reasonable?

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