New Health Insurance Requirements Announced O-A

Anything and everything about Thailand
Post Reply
travelerjim1
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:41 pm
Has thanked: 99 times
Been thanked: 4 times

New Health Insurance Requirements Announced O-A

Post by travelerjim1 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:06 am

Thai Immigration has posted the NEW HEALTH INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS for the O-A Visa.
Its 11 pages long...in Thai and English.

The O-A Visa is ONLY available in your HOME COUNTRY.....NOT available in Thailand.

From my initial reading of it....

...This does NOT APPLY to those on Age 50+ Extension of Stay for retirement.

...Nor does it apply to those who obtain a Non O Visa as step to conversion from an entry visa or status you may have.

https://www.immigration.go.th/read?cont ... 318362a8aa

A National Press Conference will ve held at 2:00pm Wednesday October 9 to introduce the new requirement.

The top section is in Thai...
Scroll down to read English.

Tj

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 16459
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 756 times

Re: New Health Insurance Requirements Announced O-A

Post by Gaybutton » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:21 am

I see no surprises there, but I'm wondering why the health insurance requirement insists the insurance must be purchased from a Thai insurance company. Am I misreading that? I don't understand why an applicant for the O-A visa cannot purchase health insurance from any company he wants, provided it covers him in Thailand. I also don't understand why those who have the financial means to do it cannot self-insure.

Nevertheless, whether we understand it or not, agree or disagree with it, apparently that's what the regulation will be and those who want an O-A visa are going to have to comply.

If anyone wants to apply for the O-A visa without having to comply with the new regulations, you better do it right now. At the time of this post, you still have about 20 days before the new regulations come into effect.

And don't forget about obtaining a Thai bank account if you don't already have one - and it's getting more and more difficult to get a Thai bank account unless you have a retirement visa. As far as I know, Kasikorn Bank - K-Bank - is still the most likely bank to allow a foreigner to open an account without holding a retirement visa.

You better act fast, folks. Whether we like it or not, it's not going to get easier. Even all the promises about changing the regulations about the TM30 rules - I have yet to see anything actually change.

travelerjim1
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:41 pm
Has thanked: 99 times
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: New Health Insurance Requirements Announced O-A

Post by travelerjim1 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:02 pm

GB....
From the official Thai health insurance website:

https://longstay.tgia.org/home/guidelineoa

"First year, all applicants can buy health insurance from insurance companies in their own countries or authorized insurance company in Thailand.

When the applicants want to renew the visa, the applicants must buy insurance from authorized insurance companies in Thailand only.

Any inquiries on completing Insurance application can be addressed at each insurance company".

Bottom line...NEVER RENEW THE O-A Visa
Always get a new one every two years in your home country.

Tj

Dodger
Posts: 1257
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:58 am
Has thanked: 16 times
Been thanked: 293 times

Re: New Health Insurance Requirements Announced O-A

Post by Dodger » Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:33 pm

Apparently the U.S. has recently initiated a similar policy, where green card holders and immigrants coming to the U.S. must obtain health insurance within 30 days of their arrival, or, have adequate funds in the bank to cover health care.

At least in the U.S. "Self Insurance" is an option.

Being forced to buy health insurance from a Thai Company is something the Foreign Embassy's should already be jumping on, but I'm not holding my breath.

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 16459
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 756 times

Re: New Health Insurance Requirements Announced O-A

Post by Gaybutton » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:01 pm

travelerjim1 wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:02 pm
First year, all applicants can buy health insurance from insurance companies in their own countries or authorized insurance company in Thailand.

When the applicants want to renew the visa, the applicants must buy insurance from authorized insurance companies in Thailand only.
Welcome to the latest item on my "I Don't Get It" list . . .

puan
Posts: 217
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:56 pm
Has thanked: 29 times
Been thanked: 20 times

Re: New Health Insurance Requirements Announced O-A

Post by puan » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:59 pm

Gaybutton wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:01 pm
travelerjim1 wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:02 pm
First year, all applicants can buy health insurance from insurance companies in their own countries or authorized insurance company in Thailand.

When the applicants want to renew the visa, the applicants must buy insurance from authorized insurance companies in Thailand only.
Welcome to the latest item on my "I Don't Get It" list . . .
This one is easy to explain.

I am willing to bet that the Thai Insurance Companies were the loudest voices in the room demanding insurance coverage requirements for expats residing in the Kingdom. I am sure they were even louder than the hospitals crying that expats were absconding without payment.

It is a windfall for the insurance companies. A captive customer base. Big baht to be made.

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 16459
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 756 times

Re: New Health Insurance Requirements Announced O-A

Post by Gaybutton » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:12 pm

puan wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:59 pm
I am willing to bet that the Thai Insurance Companies were the loudest voices in the room demanding insurance coverage requirements for expats residing in the Kingdom.
You might be correct, but if you are, why does it apply only to O-A visas rather than also including O visas? If that makes sense, I missed it . . .

I've also never really understood why there are two separate types of visas for essentially exactly the same thing - foreigners staying in Thailand for a year. If that makes sense, I missed that one too . . .

Up2u
Posts: 1376
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:06 am
Has thanked: 255 times
Been thanked: 81 times

Re: New Health Insurance Requirements Announced O-A

Post by Up2u » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:36 pm

travelerjim1 wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:02 pm
Bottom line...NEVER RENEW THE O-A Visa
Always get a new one every two years in your home country.
If I understand all this (which I don't), my advice would be to get a tourist visa and convert it to a non-immigrant O and then do your annual extensions (See a visa agency if lazy). I see nothing but hurdles in getting an O-A visa. Just a few, you would have to synchronize expiration dates on your foreign medical policy and the reentries with the O-A visa, so in short, you might have to buy the useless Thai insurance from the Longstay website(if you can qualify). Also, good luck in getting a Thai Embassy in accepting a Certificate of Insurance from a foreign medical policy (think of that ridiculous medical form that must be submitted).

travelerjim1
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:41 pm
Has thanked: 99 times
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: New Health Insurance Requirements Announced O-A

Post by travelerjim1 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:02 am

GB and fellow Members. .

FYI....I have posted an UPDATE..October 10
PLEASE READ BELOW
from a Facebook forum I participate in...
Thank you.

Thai Immigration has posted the NEW HEALTH INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS for the O-A Visa.

The O-A Visa is ONLY available in your HOME COUNTRY.....NOT available in Thailand.

This does NOT APPLY to those on Age 50+ Extension of Stay for retirement.

Nor does it apply to those who obtain a Non O Visa as step to conversion from an entry visa or status you may have.

https://www.immigration.go.th/read?cont ... 318362a8aa

A National Press Conference will ve held at 2:00pm Wednesday October 9 to introduce the new requirement.

At this time we are seeking and awaiting further information on this NEW health insurance requirement.

Therefore...we are CLOSING COMMENT until further details are known.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

------------

UPDATE..Thursday October 10th

Though not yet seen on Thai Embassy Websites in home countries, I have found this NEW FORM...I share it with you for whatever its worth....

We are watching foreign Thai Embassy websites ...yet no changes seen.

But if you do have health insurance which covers you in Thailand as well as home country it appears it will meet the requirement.

A form for this health insurance certificate of coverage does appear on the Thai website which does now sell the O-X health insurance...with O-A now added.

See the new Overseas Health Insurance Certificate here....

http://longstay.tgia.org/home/companiesoa

Click on O -A health insurance...
And click on DOWNLOAD OVERSEAS HEALTH INSURANCE CERTIFICATE.

Again...We will watch for added developments and will post as known.

-----------------

The top section is in Thai...
Scroll down to read English.

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 16459
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 756 times

Re: New Health Insurance Requirements Announced O-A

Post by Gaybutton » Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:17 am

travelerjim1 wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:02 am
Again...We will watch for added developments and will post as known.
And again confusing, conflicting information coming from the Thai authorities themselves. On the one hand, we have a set of rules specifying that outpatient insurance must be purchased from a Thai insurance company. On the other hand, this new form seems as if any insurance is fine as long as the O-A applicant can prove it is a valid insurance policy that will cover health care in Thailand.

Wouldn't it be nice if they would make up their minds and make it crystal clear what people are supposed to do?

The only consistency I see is all of this applies only to O-A retirement visa holders. Meanwhile, the same people who apply for the O-A visa are probably just as eligible for the O visa, where none of these insurance requirements apply. As far as I can tell, the only difference between the O and the O-A is where you apply for it. If you apply in your home country, you get the O-A visa. If you apply in Thailand, you get the O visa.

Am I wrong about any of this?

Post Reply