Mandatory medical insurance for retirement visa - maybe

Anything and everything about Thailand
Post Reply
User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 15621
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 601 times

Mandatory medical insurance for retirement visa - maybe

Post by Gaybutton » Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:26 am

Nothing new here. This has been discussed before, but so far nothing happened. Whether it happens this time remains to be seen.

The article acknowledges "health protection for long-stay visa holders – mostly elderly foreigners." Really? Considering eligibility for the retirement visa begins at age 55, then of course we are elderly. You don't have to be a genius to figure that out.

I would hope most retiring farang have sense enough to make sure they are holding decent medical insurance, but if it becomes mandatory, due to age many farang might not be able to get health insurance. Since Thai insurance might be the alternative, I hope Thailand will make sure people seeking required insurance won't be turned down because of their age.

I hope, assuming this time the requirement does come into effect, Thailand won't create a Catch 22 by requiring insurance, but many are too old to be able to get it.

I also hope they will at least inform us which Thai insurance companies will provide the coverage, regardless of age, pre-existing conditions, or whatever.

In the meantime, the numbers make no sense to me at all. Minimum 40,000 baht for outpatient coverage and minimum 400,000 baht coverage for inpatient coverage. Let's see - if holding a Thai bank account with 800,000 baht is mandatory, what's the point of this requirement when you've already got the money?

We'll see.
____________________________________________________

Move to make health insurance mandatory for long-stay visas

December 23, 2018

Foreigners with one-year Non-Immigrant Visa “O-A” (Long Stay) will have to compulsorily arrange health insurance, according to new proposals of a key committee.

The criterion under the Immigration Act 1979 was approved by the Medical Hub Committee, Dr Kittisak Klapdee, adviser to the Minister of Public Health, said on Sunday.

Kittisak was assigned by Public Health Minister Dr Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn to join Tourism and Sport vice minister Ittipol Khunplome at the Medical Hub Committee’s second annual meeting, which approved in principle the amendment of the criteria for one-year long-stay visas.

Once it comes into effect, foreigners having the visa will be required to have Thai insurance policies covering their entire stay in Thailand with minimum Bt40,000 out-patient medical bill coverage and minimum Bt400,000 in-patient medical bill coverage.

Those already having overseas insurance policies that meet the minimum requirement would be exempted from subscribing to Thai insurance policies. They will be able to apply for long-stay visas using their foreign insurance policies, he said.

Details and guidelines pertaining to the amendment were being jointly formulated by the Public Health Ministry, the Foreign Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the Immigration Bureau, the Office of Insurance Commission, the Thai General Insurance Association, and the Thai Life Assurance Association. At the next stage, it would be forwarded to the Cabinet for approval as a formal policy, he added.

The amended criterion is aimed at ensuring health protection for long-stay visa holders – mostly elderly foreigners – and also benefit the public and private hospitals in the country, he added.

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/ ... s/30360990

Dodger
Posts: 931
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:58 am
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 194 times

Re: Mandatory medical insurance for retirement visa - maybe

Post by Dodger » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:58 pm

The majority (not all) of the retired expats I know in Thailand are over age 65 and do not have health insurance. They do offer Thai health insurance policies for people over age 65 but the policies are very expensive. Most of my American expat friends only have Medicare which of course only covers them when they are back in the States.

I had a Thai health insurance policy for several years and just canceled it last year after learning first-hand that the Thai Navy Hospital (Queen Sirikit) in Sattahip provides quality health care for extremely low rates. This being the closest hospital to where I reside in Bang Saray I decided to cancel my insurance policy and just keep enough money in my Thai bank account to cover my ass going forward.

I guess I'll have to reconsider my plans if they change the rules, and these plans may include a move to Cambodia or Viet Nam.

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 15621
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 601 times

Re: Mandatory medical insurance for retirement visa - maybe

Post by Gaybutton » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:37 pm

Dodger wrote:I guess I'll have to reconsider my plans if they change the rules
So far it is only a proposal and probably hasn't even really been thought through. I can understand why they would require in-patient care since that can be prohibitively expensive, but an out-patient care insurance policy requirement seems absurd to me - which is why I won't be at all surprised if that's exactly what they're going to do.

User avatar
Undaunted
Posts: 1596
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:47 am
Has thanked: 15 times
Been thanked: 225 times

Re: Mandatory medical insurance for retirement visa - maybe

Post by Undaunted » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:58 pm

Dodger wrote:The majority (not all) of the retired expats I know in Thailand are over age 65 and do not have health insurance. They do offer Thai health insurance policies for people over age 65 but the policies are very expensive. Most of my American expat friends only have Medicare which of course only covers them when they are back in the States.
This way of thinking is sheer stupidity, I’ve just renewed my coverage in Thailand for $3600.00 US with no deductible and covers me anywhere in Asia up to 1 million Euro per hospitalization.......What happens to expats that rely on Medicare if while in Thailand they have a medical catastrophe.......Insanity!!!!!!
"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

fountainhall
Posts: 2145
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:45 am
Location: Bangkok
Has thanked: 170 times
Been thanked: 492 times

Re: Mandatory medical insurance for retirement visa - maybe

Post by fountainhall » Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:26 pm

The Bt. 40,000 outpatient possible requirement is nuts, in my view. I decided to ditch outpatient treatment. The additional premium was around Bt. 30,000 and I rarely spend even half that for outpatient treatment . Besides, like many policies, I have a Bt. 40,000 deductible per annum. So insuring for outpatient treatment makes little sense. I have a separate bank account with plenty in it to cover outpatient and deductibles.

traveller123
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:08 pm
Has thanked: 31 times
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Mandatory medical insurance for retirement visa - maybe

Post by traveller123 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:12 am

fountainhall wrote:The Bt. 40,000 outpatient possible requirement is nuts, in my view. I decided to ditch outpatient treatment. The additional premium was around Bt. 30,000 and I rarely spend even half that for outpatient treatment . Besides, like many policies, I have a Bt. 40,000 deductible per annum. So insuring for outpatient treatment makes little sense. I have a separate bank account with plenty in it to cover outpatient and deductibles.
Agreed and It sounds like we have similar policies.
Aged 71 I pay an annual premium of approximately 81,000 baht.
The gross premium started at 167,000 baht, to reduce the premium to the net amount I pay the first 40,000 of any claim, make a contribution of 20% to the residual costs with no outpatient coverage (saving 33,000 baht of premium) and I have a no claims discount of about 20,000 baht.

My logic being that, if necessary cash from the 800,000 currently set aside for my visa can be used for my medical contribution, with any shortfall this brought about to my visa savings made up by a part income substitution.

Guess,this being Thailand, we have to see if my logic and planning is, as we say in England "up the spout"

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 15621
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 601 times

Re: Mandatory medical insurance for retirement visa - maybe

Post by Gaybutton » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:58 pm

traveller123 wrote:Guess,this being Thailand, we have to see if my logic and planning is, as we say in England "up the spout"
My guess is your logic will be up the spout. Logic and Thai logic seem to be two entirely different things. I thought the purpose of Thailand's requirement of the 800,000 baht is to make sure you can personally cover situations such as medical problems without having to rely on the good graces of free service at a Thai hospital. But if you have to spend that 800,000 baht, or any portion of it, and can't replace it in time for it to be in the account, then bye-bye retirement visa.

Meanwhile, many farang have invested a great deal of money buying condos, furnishing them, air conditioning them, buying cars, etc. and intend to live out their lives in their condo. But if the same farang cannot also come up with the 800,000 baht, apparently Thailand is going to usher them out. Not my idea of the world's greatest way to attract foreigners to invest their money and lives in Thailand when immigration can just come up with new rules at will, even with no changes in Thai laws, that the farang may be unable to comply with.

As far as I know, there has been no change whatsoever in Thai immigration laws, and part of the law says that proof of at least 65,000 baht per month income is acceptable for the retirement visa. But so far, since embassy letters are no longer acceptable or being issued, immigration has not come up with an alternative procedure to prove monthly income. Thai logic - if there is some difficulty about providing people with a means of complying with the law, then no problem - just disregard the law - with no one in Thai government so much as saying, "Hey, wait a minute!"

I have a lot better things to do with 800,000 baht than just letting it sit there in a Thai bank account. Some have said if you need to spend it, then just top it up later. That's fine if you've got the money to top it up with.

Dodger
Posts: 931
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:58 am
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 194 times

Re: Mandatory medical insurance for retirement visa - maybe

Post by Dodger » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:41 pm

It would be nice if the Thai Health Insurance Company's were monitoring this situation and carving out plans to design a tailor-made policy which meets the minimum coverage requirements for a reasonable rate with no age restrictions too. It seems like a great market opportunity for them and would certainly attract a large customer base almost immediately.

As all things in Thailand we'll just have to wait and see which way the wind blows.

User avatar
Undaunted
Posts: 1596
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:47 am
Has thanked: 15 times
Been thanked: 225 times

Re: Mandatory medical insurance for retirement visa - maybe

Post by Undaunted » Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:09 pm

Dodger wrote:It seems like a great market opportunity for them and would certainly attract a large customer base almost immediately.
If the government is insistent on expats buying health insurance at minimal coverage it is a no brainer and companies will be happy to write cheap policies at cheap prices. The company that comes to mind is Thaisri Ins.Co. one of Thailand’s largest......You get what you pay for.
"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

Dodger
Posts: 931
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:58 am
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 194 times

Re: Mandatory medical insurance for retirement visa - maybe

Post by Dodger » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:26 am

Undaunted wrote:if the government is insistent on expats buying health insurance at minimal coverage it is a no brainer and companies will be happy to write cheap policies at cheap prices
A cheap policy at a cheap price is exactly what I'll be in the market for in the event Thailand makes this mandatory due to the fact that I can receive good quality health care at Queen Sirikit Hospital for a cheap price and I keep enough cash in the bank to cover anything from a sliver in my finger to a brain transplant at their rates. Monty is the first one who told me about this, although he didn't have the cash to pay for his health care when he needed it the most. In short: If you don't have the cash you better have a policy.

Undaunted, I had a policy with the same company you do now based on the good advice you provided me years ago, although after moving to Bang Saray I learned that my policy did not include coverage (in patient) at Queen Sitikit Hospital due to the fact that it is a State run hospital. That is when I decided to cancel the policy and go the "self-insurance" route.

Having said this, it only makes good sense for anyone retired here to have health insurance coverage regardless if it's by having a policy with a Health Insurance Company or being self-insured as I do, but in any event every person should have some sort of coverage regardless if it becomes mandatory in Thailand or not.

Post Reply