Health Insurance for Thailand Expats is often overlooked with most expats either having a insurance policy that simply doesn’t really fit their lifestyle, doesn’t provide the correct coverage or protection, or they are paying too much for health insurance coverage they don’t need while living in Thailand.
But unfortunately too many expats in Thailand fall into the category of being able to mumble some excuse for not having any health insurance all together.
1. I never get sick, Im Healthy, I don’t need it.
Staying healthy and never getting sick is great, and its even better for keeping your health insurance premiums low, but its never a excuse for not having any health insurance. If you truly never get sick or make visits to the doctor you can opt for a inpatient only health insurance plan, which will be cheaper than full coverage and only cover you for those unexpected emergencies that could quite possibly be life threatening and require you to stay overnight in the hospital or even a medical evacuation.
When you take a taxi or ride a motorcycle you are at risk, Remember Thailand has one of the highest road accident and traffic accident fatality rates in the world.
In certain rural areas of Thailand you may also be exposed to mosquitos carrying dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis.
Thailand is a beautiful country to explore but the risks of accidents happening or exposure to diseases and dangerous creature bites is something you should definitely be aware of.
And although you may feel healthy, you never know when an unexpected condition or disease may occur.
2. Im covered by my credit card or travel insurance policy.
Credit card and travel insurance policies provide basic travel insurance for short-term trips
If you have a minor accident in Thailand then you may have to get approval from the travel insurance company or even pay the bills yourself and then reclaim those costs from the travel insurance company.
If you have a major life threatening accident in Thailand you still might need to get approval from the travel insurance company before any treatment is carried out or any medical evacuation is arranged, and the travel insurance will only cover the costs to get you stabilised and safely home and not any further ongoing treatment you may need.
A good health insurance policy will ensure you are taken well care of by any hospitals in Thailand, they recognize international health insurance companies and will give you the best possible care knowing in fact that the medical bills are covered directly by the health insurance company.
If you are involved in a life changing accident that results in you needing a lifetime of costly medical care, the health insurance company will be responsible for the required care while you continue to be insured by that insurer, unlike a travel insurance policy that is only valid for the short-term.
It is possible in the short-term but if you’re away from your supposed home for an extended period of time you may find any claim on travel insurance is rendered invalid. A general rule of thumb for travel insurance is no more than 90 days in one country or one year away from the home country, although this can vary.
3. Health insurance is too expensive, I cant afford it.
Regardless of your age or income your health and wellbeing is your number 1 asset. Without your health and wellbeing you may be unable to work or live comfortably.
There are many health insurance policies on the market available to expats living in Thailand some of which are very affordable that provide coverage that could possibly be life saving.
Having a insurance policy that based on individual coverage only in Thailand can be significantly cheaper than a global coverage policy, but make sure you are covered where you need to be.
4. If I get sick ill go back home.
Commercial airlines do not allow anyone to board a flight if they are sick or seriously injured.
If you are seriously injured your only option would be a Medevac emergency evacuation with a medical team and pressurized plane, these cost on average $100,000 – $250,000 per trip.
5. I have savings to cover any medical bills.
If you are unconscious or comatose, who has access to your money to pay the bills ? How can you be sure you have enough savings? Do you have proof that you an pay ?
In a life or death situation you really don’t want to be waiting on a international wire transfer before you receive needed medical treatment.
6. I don’t trust insurance companies.
7) I don’t know know how to get it.
8) Im young ill get insured when i’m older.
10. I get health insurance from my employer.
Your employer may provide you with health insurance or include you in their group insurance policy, but what happens when you leave your job or change employer ?
If you have a medical emergency or a medical condition arise while you are in-between employers, you would not be covered and would have to cover those costs yourself.
Also any health conditions that were covered by or occurred during your previous insurance policy may not be covered by your new employers insurance policy, whereas if you had your own insurance policy you could continue that policy regardless and ensure any health conditions continue to be covered without relying on a employers insurance policy.
Finally when you retire from that company you might find it difficult to find a new insurer that will agree cover you, most insurers will not cover any pre-existing conditions and charge a higher premium for the same level of cover.
If you had maintained your own personal policy your insurance you could avoid these pre-existing condition exclusions and higher premium worries.