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Long-stay expats mandatory health insurance jacked to B3mn

Long-stay expats mandatory health insurance jacked to B3mn

PHUKET: The Ministry of Public Health has raised the mandatory health insurance for expats staying on one-renewed visas from B400,000 to B3 million, effective immediately.

By The Phuket News

Wednesday 20 October 2021, 03:31PM

The news came at a meeting in Bangkok yesterday (Oct 19), where it was decided to raise the mandatory health insurance for long-stay foreigners so that the health insurance covers treatment for COVID-19.

The meeting also decided that foreigners may provide evidence of the required health insurance coverage as provided from the country of origin.

The new health insurance requirements were made effective immediately, hence they came into effect yesterday (Oct 19).

The high-powered meeting was led by Dr Satit Pitutecha, Deputy Minister of Public Health, together with Chaiwat Chuenkosoom, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Interior.

Also present were Daranee Likhitworasak, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports; Dr Thares Krasanaiyarawiwong, Director-General of the Department of Health Service Support; Donwit Poolsawat, Director of the Foreign Visa and Travel Documents Division; Pol Maj Gen Piti Nithinontaset, Immigration Commander Division 1; and Chuchat Pralumphol. Deputy Secretary-General of the Insurance Regulatory Commission (OIC).

After the meeting confirmed the policy shift, the party of top-ranking officials held a press conference called “improve additional rules to support health insurance for foreigners who apply for temporary visas. Non-Immigrant Visa code O-A (1 year term)”


According to a report of the meeting posted by the Ministry of Public Health, Dr Satit said, “The government has a policy to promote health tourism, to make Thailand a global health centre (Medical Hub). There is an opening of health tourism routes, the development of Thai herbal products, Thai massage and spa, and development of the potential of health care facilities, both public and private at all levels, including health establishments to achieve quality standards that are internationally accepted to attract more tourists to enter the country.

HeadStart International School Phuket


“In the past, there were 3,768 elderly people applying for a visa for a long stay (Long Stay) for a period of not more than one year,” he said, citing data from the Immigration Bureau and the Department of Consular Affairs.


“On June 15, 2021, the Cabinet approved in principle to improve additional rules as proposed by the Ministry of Health and relevant agencies by requiring foreigners who apply for a visa can purchase health insurance from abroad or have government welfare from abroad, and adjusting the health insurance limit from the original B40,000 for outpatients and B400,000 for inpatients, changing [this] to a limit to cover medical expenses and have insurance that covers the treatment of COVID-19 for not less than US$100,000 or B3,000,000 baht, effective from today [Oct 19] onwards to build confidence to foreigners who will come to receive protection and care throughout the period of their stay in the Kingdom.” he said.

Dr Thares Ratanaiyarawiwong, Director-General of the Department of Health Service Support, said that for the criteria for applying for a temporary visa for a period of one year will be used for elderly foreigners.

“Those who cannot purchase insurance in Thailand, those whose overseas insurance purchase certification form does not comply with the insurance business system/benefits from various funds, and those who apply for a second visa renewal [extend] wishing to apply for health insurance from abroad, this will reduce the problem of visa applicants unable to apply for a second visa, as well as upgrading and screening foreigners who will travel to Thailand.

“The policy can be purchased online through the Thai General Insurance Association website. There are 17 regional insurance companies participating in the program,” r Thares said.

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Kurt | 23 October 2021 - 09:55:52

Is Thai massage now falling under Thai Medical hub status? Are the Thai entertainment ladies and boys informed about that 'quality upgrade' ?

Kurt | 23 October 2021 - 09:50:36

Old Covid rules skipped, replaced by new rules, to stimulate tourism. Old Covid 'earning' fade away, like the profit making scams 'quarantine' and many testing. Replace by the increase Covid insurance premium. Left- or right pocket, it doesn't matter but we will try to continue to rip of the foreigners.

Dick | 22 October 2021 - 17:30:05

Insurance is fine...But covid insurance is a joke!  Think: why premium for vaccinated people is the same as unvaccinated?  Why the rest of of the world don't have health policy that Specifically mention covid???  It's disgusting!!!

gordo | 22 October 2021 - 10:21:13

More revenues for Thai owned insurance companies, more brown envelopes for Thai officials... More of the same....  Yep, amazing Thailand.

villamedici | 21 October 2021 - 20:52:47

Why I need an insurance when I can pay
myself ??
Amazing to see Thailand showing the
human factor over and over again.
Paying for my Thai daughter every penny from birth to university nothing absolute nothing from the government.
Now after all the hard work you get squeezed to enjoy your retirement.

maverick | 21 October 2021 - 13:48:47

Hospitals and Insurance companies are in cohoots with each other hence triple pricing , Thai price, farang price and insured farang price 

Sir Burr | 21 October 2021 - 13:33:52

Maybe the hospitals are fed up being stiffed by non-paying, non-citizens.

JohnC | 21 October 2021 - 09:59:17

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that many of the participating Thai insurance companies are owned by these so-called heavyweights. Slug the foreigners any way we can before they wise up and leave us with nothing to take.

JohnC | 21 October 2021 - 09:22:29

Just out of curiosity. I wonder how many Thais even have health insurance past the joke that is the 30B social security card? How many can actually afford to buy health insurance, unless they are from a "pampered privileged" (HiSo) family.

Sir Burr | 21 October 2021 - 09:04:19

The original sum of 400,000 Bt was far too low, especially if you have to go to ICU and be intubated.
They were right to increase this amount to a figure that would cover a worst case scenario.

BobTB | 21 October 2021 - 03:23:33

The government statement is completely illogical. It speaks of promoting health tourism while referring to long stay residents, but health tourists are short stay visitors who come for a specific pre-planned procedure. The insurance bought by long stay residents covers unexpected emergencies; they certainly don’t come to spend their time in hospital!

Wiesel | 21 October 2021 - 02:14:30

how much the social-insurance covers?? Are locals insured this high??

Fascinated | 20 October 2021 - 19:01:27

Assble these words in the correct order. 'Shot', 'in' 'foot' 'the'. Do they EVER think things through? Stand by for the usual u-turn and 'mis-understanding'.

Christy Sweet | 20 October 2021 - 18:34:10

That  600% jump in coverage requirements is all about flushing  out low income retirees. Hope they knew better than to buy a home  here. And the standards of health care could never reach that of the west unless Thaidom 
 replaces all the staffers with  those possessing higher functioning brains. 

Paddy | 20 October 2021 - 17:10:47

Well this does not make much sense. "Dr Thares Ratanaiyarawiwong, Director-General of the Department of Health Service Support, said that for the criteria for applying for a temporary visa for a period of one year will be used for elderly foreigners." So not for everyone , only retirees ???

Dick | 20 October 2021 - 17:02:51

Thailand is most 'innovative' in inventing covid insurance to reap off foreigners.  Whilst policy overseas mostly cover covid, they do no spell out the word covid explicitly.
Either Thai authority is genuinely naive about insurance; or they are genius in making up tricks to rip off the 'high quality' expats segment!!!


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