Kata Rocks
THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


US Embassy issues advisory on medical care for tourists, long-stay expats

US Embassy issues advisory on medical care for tourists, long-stay expats

The US Embassy in Bangkok has issued an advisory warning Americans to ensure they have adequate medical coverage if staying long-term in the country, especially if they are of retirement age.


By The Phuket News

Monday 20 May 2019, 12:45PM


The advisory reads as follows:

Thailand remains one of the most popular retirement destinations in the world. Great culture; great food; great people. And as US citizens age, Thailand also offers access to excellent health care, provided at world-class private hospitals by internationally trained doctors. But you need to be able to afford it.

Sadly, we at the Embassy in Bangkok have seen many instances where US citizens discover, too late, that essential, high-quality health care is out of financial reach and their options are limited. As you contemplate your own preparedness, we urge you to plan for a few key expenses: medical treatment, nursing care, and, if necessary, medical evacuation.

Do You Have a Plan to Receive Treatment in Thailand?

Access to healthcare in the United States and Thailand differs. When you live abroad, Medicare (click here) cannot pay for your healthcare. US healthcare programs that can sometimes be used overseas, such as private health insurance, TRICARE (click here), and VA-provided care (click here), work differently and may require upfront payments. As a non-Thai, you do not enjoy the same subsidised access to the public healthcare system as your Thai neighbours. While Thai law directs hospitals (both private and public) to provide emergency life-saving care, they are not required to provide care for routine or chronic conditions and may require full payment in advance.

 Tragically, some of the most common challenges we witness relate to home healthcare and long-term hospitalisation. Even the most prepared retirees in Thailand, capable of withstanding several medical emergencies, may not realise just how expensive professional care can be if they develop a debilitating condition in retirement. You may wish to consider purchasing long-term care insurance and having a written plan in place in the event you become incapacitated.

Do You Have a Viable Way Back to the United States?

If you lack a caretaking option in Thailand and/or your only access to treatment for a chronic condition is Medicare, your best option is likely to return to the United States for healthcare. Medical evacuation and medical insurance are often covered through different programs (click here). Many do not realise, however, the obstacles to flying once you are sick. Trips back to the United States can be arduous due to the distance and required transits, and airlines can refuse to board anyone who does not appear to be of health stable enough to endure a flight.

What the US Embassy Can and Cannot Do

When contacted for help we can point you toward a number of medical service providers or put you in touch with friends and family who may be able to assist. We can then assist those family members and friends in transferring money to you, or directly to a hospital or nursing home. (Click here.)

Laguna Golf Phuket

The US government has no ability to pay for your medical costs overseas (click here). We urge you to take steps now, while you are physically and financially able, to prepare for medical eventualities: budget for long-term care and consider purchasing health insurance that covers emergency medical and dental treatment abroad, as well as medical evacuation to the United States.

Having appropriate medical insurance and sufficient personal savings can prevent your destitution or the denial of necessary care and keep you happy and healthy in the Land of Smiles.


This article was drafted by the American Citizen Services unit of the US Embassy in Bangkok, part of an advice column for US citizens permanently living in Thailand.

Disclaimer for medical insurance providers: The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, any provider.

For more information that could assist you in planning for your family’s future, please visit "U.S. Citizen Services /Medical Emergencies.” (click here.)

Older travellers may wish to contact Medicare, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP, click here), or a travel agent for information about foreign medical care coverage with private Medicare supplement plans.

 

For the Department of State’s checklist for older travellers please visit this page (click here).

 

Stay on top of the latest news and current events with the US Embassy homepage (click here), which includes links to homepages of other US government agencies.

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Phuket police bumble hunt for Norwegian killer

Lets just say that people staying and the Centara Grand aren't normally short of a bob or two. ...(Read More)


Digital Drive: Phuket police drop licence seizures in first move toward tech-based policing

Of note, the app. only works with newer licenses that have a QR code on them. If your license is mor...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: TM30 storm in a teacup

That whole TM 28/30 thing not works when Immigration only works 5 day a week, or sometimes 3 days a ...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: Dangling the carrot

Guess the dangling carrot of Huawei en Berger is hanging to high in the air for Phuket Officialdom t...(Read More)


Digital Drive: Phuket police drop licence seizures in first move toward tech-based policing

can't see the point of this as half the people round here (Kathu ) don't have driving licenc...(Read More)


Phuket police bumble hunt for Norwegian killer

Norway has no extradition agreement with Thailand so if he comes to Norway case closed.This happend ...(Read More)


Governor requests B1.15mn extra to complete second building at new Provincial Hall site

No explanation was forthcoming. Ask smaller budgets step by step probably has more chance to get mor...(Read More)


Phuket police bumble hunt for Norwegian killer

TM28 and TM30 are mentioned here in other comments, Dek....(Read More)


Phuket police bumble hunt for Norwegian killer

Just a thought, Dek, just a thought. The article window doesn't matter as it is not a comment, b...(Read More)


Patong lifeguards to be hired year round, full time

Interesting to wait and see what beach village head K. MaAnn is going to do in this. Last thing we r...(Read More)