CORRECTION: The original story reported that the COVID insurance requirement will apply to all foreigners staying in Thailand long term under a non-immigrant visa.
That is not correct.
The new COVID insurance requirement approved in principle by the Cabinet on Tuesday (June 15) is to apply to foreigners staying on Non-Immigrant O-A visas only.
The error is sincerely regretted.
UPDATE: Since this story was posted, more detalis of the Cabinet recommendations to Immigration regarding mandatory COVID health insurance for foriegners have become available. See story here.
The proposal was approved in principle by the cabinet yesterday (June 15) and Traisuree Taisaranakul, deputy spokeswoman for the government, said it would apply to all holders of the one-year, non-immigrant visa (NIV).
NIVs are awarded in four categories: marriage, work, business and retirement.
The new rule follows an amendment to the regulations approved by the cabinet in April last year.
At present, holders of the NIV must be insured to the tune of just B40,000 for out-patient treatment, or B400,000 for in-patient treatment at a hospital.
Future NIV applicants must produce proof they have taken out the far higher insurance against COVID-19 and if they are eligible to state-sponsored welfare or insurance, the same minimum coverage applies.
Those seeking to renew their NIV are free to buy the insurance from abroad.
If they have access to state-sponsored insurance, they must submit documentary proof certified by the Bangkok-based embassies of their respective nations or by authorised official of the Foreign Ministry of their native countries.
If someone is denied the requisite COVID-19 insurance because they are deemed to be in an at-risk group, they must present the rejection document as well as proof of financial security, bank account or other health insurance valued at a minimum US$100,000.
Ms Traisuree said that since the cabinet had approved the new rule in principle the next step would be for the Immigration Bureau to publish full details and make it official.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry will also work to improve the NIV application procedure while the Public Health Ministry and the Interior Ministry will be in charge of modifying related regulations and telling the public about them.
Ms Traisuree said the current NIV regulation was flawed as foreign nationals aged over 70 could not buy insurance in Thailand, causing them to be disqualified from remaining long-term in the kingdom.