Obtaining essential healthcare cover when an Expat in Thailand


Health insurance is one of the few things in life that we would be foolish not to take out. Many people are under the illusion that health care in Thailand is cheap and to a certain degree that would be correct if you stayed in one of the Government hospitals. In reality very few of us from the West would be used to this level of treatment and are far more accustomed to level of care that you would receive in one of the international hospitals. Sadly, this isn’t cheap.

To put things in perspective, around 3 years ago a client had appendicitis. The total cost for the treatment came to around THB 200,000 something he could barely afford. Although to some people this may seem like a small sum too many it is a lot. Inpatient cover health insurance would have cost him around THB2500 per month and would have covered these bills saving him the stress and also providing an easy payment plan.

Like all kinds of insurance, health insurance is something that we hope we never need or use. The older we get the greater the need becomes for adequate medical cover but anyone can be struck down at any time. Most companies will not consider new applicants who are aged over 65 and indeed some companies will cease cover at this age so it essential that you take out the right cover for you and you consider your long term future and not just the present time.

Most companies offer different levels of cover such as inpatient only, inpatient and outpatient as well as different levels of cover such as THB500,000 or US$1,000,000. When you consider the cost of the appendicitis case you can see that THB500,000 may not cover a great deal. It is advisable, where possible, the take expatriate cover using one of the well known, reputable companies such as Healthcare International, ACS or April. These companies are known by the hospitals making claims far easier and giving you increased peace of mind.

Payment terms are also something that should be considered. Paying annually will obvious keep the cost down but for a lot of people this is not an option so choosing a company with monthly installments would be the way forward for you. Consider that some companies require payments to be made in your home currency from a bank outside of Thailand. If you are earning a salary in Thailand this may be difficult so consider a company that accepts baht.

Like with all important decisions in life it pays to talk to an expert who can guide you, advise you of the potential pitfalls and give you sound, objective advice. We appreciate that these are big decisions and often get put off until another day – lets face it, no one plans to become sick and most of us think it will never happen to us. Contact us today for a no obligation consultation that could safeguard your’s and your family’s health.

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