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Thailand Private Insurance For Expats

Expats seeking Thailand private insurance will want a plan that includes inpatient and outpatient benefits, guaranteed renewability, direct billing, and the potential for maternity, dental, and vision add-ons. A private insurance plan grants you access to top-notch private clinics and hospitals.

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Thailand provides some of the best healthcare in Asia, making it a medical tourism market that attracts people from neighboring nations seeking treatment. It even rivals Singapore in value!

But despite it being a forerunner of medical success, its private healthcare fees remain remarkably inexpensive when compared to the rest of Asia and Western countries like the USA. This makes Thailand a very attractive place for expats to live so they can enjoy the location and get stellar medical care.

If you’re an expat wanting to live in Thailand, this article will explain what private insurance in Thailand is, how private insurance and public insurance are different, what the benefits of private insurance are, and some quote samples for private health coverage in Thailand.

By the end of this article, you will want to discover what types of insurance are needed in Thailand for expats and visitors so you can secure the right private insurance plan for your situation.

As an insurance broker and expert, Pacific Prime can help you find a Thailand private insurance plan by comparing it across multiple insurance providers and policies. Reach out to us to get started or to have your other questions answered.

What Is Private Insurance In Thailand?

Private insurance is offered to Thailand expats and residents who prefer health insurance coverage from a private company instead of the Thailand government programs. Expats in particular tend to prefer private health insurance because it is the most similar to medical treatment in the West.

Purchasing a private health insurance plan grants an individual access to top-notch facilities in private clinics and hospitals. These state-of-the-art medical facilities often have the newest technologies, internationally certified services, and medical professionals, and a greater ratio of multilingual providers.

Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thailand

65% of all hospitals and clinics in Thailand are privately run facilities. Some of the best private hospitals in Thailand are in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Samui, and Hua Hin. If you want to live near these places, discover the best places to live in Thailand as an expat.

Private Insurance Vs. Public Insurance In Thailand

Private insurance in Thailand grants expats access to private hospitals and clinics. This insurance must be purchased through a private insurance company or broker. Public insurance in Thailand is organized by the government in a social security scheme that grants access to public facilities.

While the medical professionals at both public and private hospitals are all of top quality, training, and competency, the main differences between public and private facilities lie in the ease and comfort for the patient. We will detail their differences below.

Public Insurance In Thailand

Employed residents in Thailand can opt into the social security scheme that funds public health insurance. A monthly salary deduction entitles these participants to subsidized healthcare at an assigned public hospital. Public insurance covers the minimum healthcare costs.

It may not, however, be sufficient for serious injury or illness. This is one reason many expats prefer private insurance.

Uninsured individuals can still seek care in a public hospital, but they will have to pay the full expense out of pocket.

Read here to learn more about public health insurance, also known as Thailand’s Universal Health Insurance Programs.

Benefits of Public Insurance

  • More affordable than private insurance and than treatments performed in a private facility
  • Public insurance premiums often are paid directly out of your paycheck, so you don’t need to worry about paying an extra bill
  • Most Thailand employees qualify for the government-organized public health insurance
  • Medical treatment is great because the physicians are highly skilled

Drawbacks of Public Insurance

  • Higher likelihood you will not have a doctor who speaks English, so you will need to speak Thai or bring someone to translate for you
  • Expats pay more for medical care in a public facility than Thai nationals pay
  • There are often long wait times, and you often can’t make an appointment until you’ve had an initial walk-in visit to establish with your provider
  • You may need to arrive at the clinic between 6 and 7 a.m. to see a doctor on the same day without an appointment
  • The waiting areas are overly crowded, and this means you’ll only get a short visit with the physician
  • Most public hospitals have many beds in a room, so you won’t get a private space
  • Public hospitals don’t have access to the type of technology in private centers, and even more so in rural areas
  • Public mental health institutions are often overcrowded as well
  • If you lose your job, you’ll no longer have free healthcare
  • Treatment is only covered at the hospital you are assigned to
  • May have multiple physicians if you’re treated over several days (this is because most doctors in Thailand work in multiple locations in a week and switch between clinics/hospitals)

Private Insurance In Thailand

Private health insurance in Thailand is significantly more affordable than in the United States or other Western and Asian countries. Private insurance is bought from a private insurance company, and it usually includes more comprehensive preventative and emergency coverage plans.

Bangkok Royal Palace Temple

Private hospitals are seen as providing more value for their money than comparable facilities in Western countries. Expats moving to Thailand most often prefer to use these private facilities, and so that is why they purchase private insurance.

Private health insurance often provides coverage for the following scenarios:

  • Hospitalization
  • Inpatient and day-patient treatments
  • COVID-19 treatments and tests
  • Virtual doctor services
  • Ambulance and emergency services
  • Medical evacuation and repatriation
  • Outpatient treatments and visits
  • Maternity care
  • Cancer treatment
  • Surgeries
  • Emergency dental and optical treatment

It is vital you know exactly what is in your plan before you purchase it. Read the fine print to understand which scenarios and conditions are covered and which are excluded.

Benefits of Private Insurance

  • Much shorter wait times
  • Can get treated quickly, even without an appointment
  • Access to newer medical equipment, including more than sufficient supplies for acute injuries and illnesses
  • Multiple multilingual staff members in most facilities
  • Interpreter services are more readily available
  • Can get private hospital rooms if admitted
  • Can get treatment in any public or private hospital
  • Private hospitals can resemble more of a 5-star hotel than a medical facility

Drawbacks of Private Insurance

  • May have multiple physicians if you’re treated over several days (this is because most doctors in Thailand work in multiple locations in a week and switch between clinics/hospitals)
  • Almost always more expensive than public healthcare (though still a fraction of what most expats are used to paying in their home country)

There are a variety of different private health insurance plans expats in Thailand can choose from.

Quote Samples For Private Insurance In Thailand

A private health insurance quote sample for a 55-year-old male who plans to live in Thailand for over a year ranges from USD $35 – $89 a month. These premiums depend on the deductible, total coverage selected, and types of benefits covered.

Koh Phi Phi Leh, Krabi, Thailand

Here are a few examples of private insurance plans available for a plan that includes inpatient, outpatient, emergency evacuation, and emergency repatriation coverage:

  • Pacific Cross: USD $35/month premium with a $300,000 deductible for an annual limit of $24,180 per condition
  • Pacific Cross: USD $39/month premium with a $0 deductible for an annual limit of $7,340 per condition
  • Pacific Cross: USD $67/month premium with a $40,000 deductible for an annual limit of $37,000 per condition
  • Thaivivat: USD $39/month premium with a $0 deductible for an annual limit of $7,340 per condition, with additional coverage for maternity and dental care
  • AXA: USD $89/month premium with a $100,000 deductible for an annual limit of $295,000 (excludes emergency evacuation and repatriation coverage)

There are hundreds of potential plans you can sort through with a wide variety of customizable benefits. We gathered these estimates from our free insurance quote generator.

We highly recommend you plug in your own criteria and needs so you can compare a number of insurance providers side by side with the basic summary of their plans. It is difficult to find a generator that makes it this easy to compare between providers, and we are happy to share the resource!

If you have questions about how to use the generator, watch this tutorial or reach out to us. We are happy to help!

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does private insurance cost in Thailand?

Private insurance in Thailand can cost as low as USD $35 a month for a 55-year-old man. The exact premium can change depending on your deductible, total amount covered, pre-existing conditions coverage, and which plan you select. Use an insurance quote generator to get an exact estimate.

Do expats get private insurance in Thailand?

The majority of expats in Thailand get private insurance because it provides coverage for private hospitals (which most expats prefer to use as they are comparable to Western hospitals in quality). About 65% of hospitals in Thailand are privately owned and run.

Do expats in Thailand get public insurance?

Expats living in Thailand who are employed can participate in the universal healthcare programs that provide free healthcare (as long as they enroll in the social security scheme). However, most expats find that public insurance alone is not sufficient for their healthcare expenses.

Conclusion

Purchasing private health insurance provides expats in Thailand access and coverage to superior facilities and emergency equipment than they would get in public facilities. Private health insurance is also much more affordable than healthcare fees in Western countries and the rest of Asia.

This is why medical tourism to Thailand has become such a booming phenomenon. Tourists travel to Thailand for the sole purpose of seeking medical treatment there. If that doesn’t tell you how high-quality private healthcare is in Thailand, then nothing else will.

Krabi's Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

When you’re ready to compare insurance quotes for Thailand, use our free insurance quote generator to get cost estimates without any need to commit. Please reach out to us with any questions that you have, and we will clear things up with our expert advice.

Expats will be interested to learn the Best Places to Live in Thailand as they plan their travels. You may also want to consider the Best Places to Live in Europe and the Best Places to Live in Asia.

Further Reading:

Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime
Serena Fung is a Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime, a global insurance brokerage and employee specialist serving over 1.5 million clients in 15 offices across the world. With 2+ years of experience writing about the subject, she aims to demystify the world of insurance for readers with the latest updates, guides and articles on the blog.

Serena earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of British Columbia, Canada. As such, she is an avid advocate of mental health and is fascinated by all things psychology (especially if it’s cognitive psychology!).

Her previous work experience includes teaching toddlers to read, writing for a travel/wellness online magazine, and then a business news blog. These combined experiences give her the skills and insights she needs to explain complex ideas in a succinct way. Being the daughter of an immigrant and a traveler herself, she is passionate about educating expats and digital nomads on travel and international health insurance.
Serena Fung