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International Health Insurance for Expats in Thailand

International health insurance for expats traveling to or residing in Thailand. Customizable international health insurance plans and quotes are available.

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Health Insurance in Thailand for Expats and Foreigners

Many international health insurance plans are available to expats and foreigners in Thailand. If you are moving to or visiting Thailand, you’ll want to know the ins and outs of Thailand’s healthcare system, and whether it is worth securing a Thailand health insurance plan

Wondering how much is health insurance in Thailand? Feel free to check out our Cost of International Health Insurance Report for 2023 for premium trends, or click below for an instant, obligation-free quote!

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International Health Insurance Options in Thailand

You can purchase private health insurance in Thailand from local insurance companies or international insurance companies. These companies’ plans differ from each other in terms of coverage, claim limits, and other details. 

Some categories of visa holders in Thailand will be required to have private health insurance, such as retirees on non-immigrant OA and non-immigration O-X visas. These are retirement visas for expats aged 50 or older, and health insurance is mandatory for both types of visas. 

Check the latest health insurance requirements from your local Thai embassy or consulate, and look for a plan that meets (or exceeds) those requirements. 

Not required to secure private health insurance under your visa category? 

It may still be worth doing so anyways as you will get the peace of mind that comes from knowing that whatever happens, you’re covered. It will enable you to access the best hospitals in Thailand without worrying about sky-high medical bills and paying out of pocket. 

Local Thailand Insurance Companies

Local insurance companies are an option for expats in Thailand, with advertisements regularly being seen around popular tourist destinations. This insurance is sold by local Thai companies. 

While this may seem like a good option for expats, there are pros and cons. 

  • Advantages: local insurance is typically less expensive, and more accessible than an international insurance company. Visiting a local hospital with local insurance generally makes for smooth billing. 
  • Disadvantages: local insurance often comes with many different exclusions in their plans. They have claim limits and less coverage, and your policy may be written in Thai, which can be frustrating if you are not fluent. 

At Pacific Prime, we help you choose an excellent health insurance plan for your unique need. Reach out to us through our contact form. 

Best International Health Insurance Plans

The best international health insurance plans for expats in Thailand will be customizable with excellent global coverage that ensures you will be protected no matter where you go. Pacific Prime is partnered with various insurers in Thailand as listed here:

Pacific Prime works with each of these insurance companies to help expats find the best plan to fit their medical needs and budget. The cost of plans will depend on different factors, such as your age, the size of the geographical area of coverage, your specific coverage benefits, and if you want a deductible on your plan. 

 

How Healthcare in Thailand Works

The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) oversees healthcare in Thailand, along with several other non-ministerial government agencies. The quality of healthcare is good - especially in Bangkok and other large cities. However, the quality may deteriorate considerably in rural areas. 

It’s also important to point out that Thailand doesn’t have a general practitioner (GP) system like some other countries, and patients can directly make appointments with doctors or specialists.

Private international insurance plans in Thailand can provide more comfort and care than public insurance as you will have access to private hospitals and a broader range of coverage.

Public hospitals 

Thailand has a network of over 1,000 public hospitals. There is a social security scheme for those who are employed, including expats legally working in the country, which is funded by monthly salary deductions and entitles users to subsidized public healthcare. Users are assigned to a particular hospital. 

Note: For those who are uninsured, it’s still possible to access the public healthcare sector, but they will have to pay the full bill. That being said, the cost is much lower than private healthcare. 

While public hospitals offer good quality care, they can be overcrowded and patients may face long wait times. Those who don’t speak Thai fluently may also find it hard to communicate with hospital staff as English isn’t widely spoken. What’s more, these hospitals are known to have a ‘dual-pricing system’ that sometimes charges foreigners and expats more than their local counterparts for the same treatment. 

Private hospitals 

Thailand also has many private hospitals to complement its healthcare system. These hospitals have state-of-the-art facilities and comfortable amenities for patients - particularly the top-tier ones like Bumrungrad International Hospital, Bangkok Hospital, and Samitivej Hospital

These hospitals attract scores of medical tourists each year. They are generally seen as providing more value for money than hospitals of comparable standards in Western countries. 

Despite these private hospitals offering value for money, treatment costs can still add up and be quite heavy on the pocket. As such, it’s recommended to secure private health insurance

If going down this route, expats can opt for local insurers or international insurers, and tailor their plan to cover their needs. This includes outpatient and inpatient cover, along with riders like dental, vision, and maternity cover. 

 

Comparing International Health Insurance Options in Thailand

Expats who don’t qualify for public health insurance will need to purchase private health insurance. And even if you do qualify for public health insurance, you can choose to supplement with private insurance for additional coverage and peace of mind. 

Public International Insurance in Thailand

Public healthcare, funded by government organizations, often has longer wait times with overcrowded public hospitals. Private healthcare, provided by separate companies, offers higher quality care with access to private hospitals with more space and multilingual staff. 

Public coverage includes inpatient and outpatient care, rehabilitation, and high-cost medical treatment. 

Private International Insurance in Thailand

Private International health insurance will help expats in Thailand by offering them access to higher-quality care and facilities, along with providing them extra coverage and protection for medical needs that public healthcare may not be able to offer. 

 

Thailand International Insurance - Plans and Coverage 

Expats have various international insurance companies to choose from for coverage in Thailand, such as Cigna, Pacific Cross, AXA, and more. We will discuss their plans and coverage in greater detail here. 

Cigna

Cigna offers several insurance plans that give access to healthcare to expats and non-residents in Thailand. With 24/7 access to a customer care team and reliable service and access to Thailan’ds private hospital, Cigna offers expats peace of mind and care while they travel and live abroad. 

Cigna has a silver, gold, and platinum plan with various levels of coverage. All three of these plans share several common key coverage benefits: 

  • Hospitalization 
  • Inpatient and daypatient treatments
  • Cancer treatments 
  • Physiotherapy
  • Accidental death or total permanent disability compensation

Pacific Cross 

Pacific Cross Health Insurance has over 65 years of experience in providing health and travel insurance. They offer a variety of affordable plans and packages, as well as accessible round-the-clock service. 

Pacific Cross offers 9 different insurance plans, with many shared features: 

  • 24/7 worldwide emergency treatment coverage
  • Inpatient and outpatient medical expenses 
  • Lifetime renewability
  • No-claims discount
  • Premium discount options
  • No limit on hospital choices from more than 450 hospitals
  • COVID-19 coverage

AXA Health Insurance 

AXA international health insurance is another excellent option for expats in Thailand. Their plans have a range of coverage levels and different customization options. Most of their plans offer coverage yearly, however, there is also a Short Term plan for 3-11 months. 

Some examples of coverage under AXA insurance plans are: 

  • Hospital charges and surgery
  • Virtual doctor service
  • Mind Health service
  • Emergency coverage
  • Medical evacuation and repatriation
  • Wide range of cancer treatment
  • Ambulance transport
  • CT, PET, and MRI scans

AIA Insurance

AIA Insurance is one of the longest-serving insurance companies in the country, with more than 80 years of experience offering insurance to expats and locals alike. They offer health insurance, life insurance, corporate insurance, and more. 

Some of their health insurance coverages are: 

  • Outpatient costs
  • Hospitalizations and surgeries
  • X-ray and laboratory tests
  • Maternity care

IMG

IMG offers international medical health insurance plans for individuals and families. They provide comprehensive insurance policies, with multiple plans and payment options to fit any expat’s budget. They provide superior services to their members like crisis support and preventative care.

Some of the shared features across their varied plans are: 

  • Inpatient treatment
  • Surgery
  • Labs and diagnostics
  • Physical therapy
  • Cancer treatment

Allianz

Allianz offers comprehensive insurance plans in Thailand to cater to all expats’ needs. Riders are available to be purchased and attached to any basic policy that Allianz Ayudhya approves. These riders can offer coverage for accidents and other risks.

Some of the basic coverage for their plans includes: 

  • Inpatient costs
  • Diagnostics and laboratory tests
  • Surgeries
  • Ambulances transport
  • Cancer treatment 

April International 

April International has over 30 years of experience in the international health insurance market and offers both comprehensive and flexible plans. April International provides varying levels of coverage, fully customizable policies, and a wide direct billing network. 

Some of the shared coverage across their plans are: 

  • 24/7 Evacuation, repatriation, and assistance services
  • Hospital and Surgeries
  • Cancer treatments 

Aetna International

Aetna is a Fortune 100 company in the United States of America and offers access to healthcare in 200+ countries and territories globally. They offer flexible benefits plans with options for medical, dental, vision, and pharmacy coverage. 

Some of the basic coverage for their plans includes:

  • Inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment (up to 90 days)
  • Emergency medical evacuation
  • Rehabilitation up to 120 days
  • Emergency dental and optical treatment

Generali 

Generali offers a variety of health insurance plans, including individual health insurance, family floater health insurance, comprehensive health insurance, and critical illness insurance. They also offer a network of more than 550 private hospitals throughout Thailand.

Some of the basic coverage for their plans includes:

  • COVID-19 treatment
  • Surgeries
  • Accidents 
  • Comprehensive CT Scans and diagnostics 
  • Post-admission rehabilitation fee of up to 10,000 baht
  • Compensation in case of death due to accident (Or.Or.1) 50,000 baht

LMG

A part of the Liberty Mutal group headquartered in Boston USA, LMG offers coverage to expats across the globe. They offer multiple individual and family health insurance plans, with varying levels of coverage and additional customizable benefits. 

Some of the shared coverage across their plans are: 

  • Inpatient treatment
  • Hospitalization and surgeries
  • Ambulance transport
  • Accidents

Bupa Global

Bupa Global is one of the largest medical networks in Hong Kong, as well as the rest of the world. They offer their members tailor-made plans and guaranteed lifetime renewal. They provide high-quality service with a personal relationship manager available for their members. 

Some of the features Bupa’s plans offer include: 

  • Inpatient coverage
  • Emergency evacuation and repatriation 
  • 24/7 access to medical advice through the Bupa Global service center
  • Direct access to specialists without referral


Dental Coverage

When considering international health insurance plans, it's important to remember dental coverage. With the right plan, you can ensure that routine dental check-ups, cleanings, and even major dental procedures are covered. 

Complete Well-being: Remember, staying healthy isn't just about emergencies. Dental and vision care play a vital role in your overall well-being.

Routine Check-ups: Look for plans that cover routine dental check-ups, cleanings, and even major dental procedures. Dental health is essential, and having coverage ensures you're covered for the unexpected.

 

Maternity and Family Coverage

International health insurance plans that offer comprehensive maternity coverage can ease the financial burden of prenatal care, childbirth, and postpartum care. 

Look for plans that provide coverage for maternity consultations, prenatal tests, delivery expenses, and even coverage for the newborn. 

Prioritize insurance providers that understand the unique needs of expat families and offer suitable family coverage options.

Growing Families: If you're planning to start or expand your family in Thailand, maternity coverage becomes a game-changer.

Comprehensive Care: Prioritize plans that offer comprehensive maternity coverage. This includes prenatal care, childbirth, and postpartum expenses.

Family-Friendly: Look for insurers that understand expat families' unique needs and offer suitable coverage options for newborns and growing families.

 

Preventive Care and Wellness Programs

A robust international health insurance plan may offer benefits that focus on keeping you healthy in the first place. Look for plans that include coverage for vaccinations, regular health check-ups, screenings, and other preventive measures. 

Stay Proactive: It's not just about treating illnesses – it's about staying healthy through preventive care.

Vaccinations and Check-ups: Seek plans that cover vaccinations, regular health check-ups, and screenings. Prevention is key to long-term well-being.

Wellness Resources: Inquire about wellness programs and resources provided by insurance companies. These resources can help you manage your health proactively.

 

Pre-existing Conditions

Expats with pre-existing conditions may have limited coverage options when purchasing international insurance, however, there are still alternative solutions available. You can choose a plan with a pre-existing condition exclusion, a moratorium, or coverage with loading.  

Here is a general overview of what each term means: 

  • Exclusion: the insurer will not pay or reimburse the policyholder for medical bills related to the condition if they choose to buy a plan from them.
  • Moratorium: the insurance company offers health insurance but excludes and observes the pre-existing condition for a certain amount of time known as the waiting period. This period is usually 24 months, and then the insurance company reviews its decision.

Coverage with loading: insurance companies may offer coverage for pre-existing conditions, but only with higher premiums. Not all pre-existing conditions are eligible for this kind of coverage, and not all companies offer this option.

Tips for Healthcare in Thailand for Expats

When it comes to navigating healthcare as an expat in Thailand, a little preparation and awareness can go a long way. Here are some valuable tips to ensure you're well-prepared for your healthcare journey:

Emergency Contact Information: Keep a list of emergency contact numbers, including your insurance provider's helpline and local hospitals. 

Medical Records: Carry copies of essential medical records, such as allergies, prescriptions, and any pre-existing conditions. 

Local Medical Knowledge: Research local medical facilities in your area. Knowing the nearest hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies can be incredibly helpful when you need quick medical attention.

Language Assistance: While English is spoken in many healthcare facilities, having a basic understanding of medical terms in the local language can be invaluable. Consider learning a few medical phrases to aid communication.

Claim Process: Familiarize yourself with the claim process of your insurance provider. Understand what documents you need to submit and the steps involved in making a claim for reimbursement.

Local Regulations: Stay informed about any changes in local regulations regarding healthcare and insurance requirements for expats. This knowledge will ensure you remain compliant and avoid any unexpected issues.

Second Opinion: If faced with a significant medical decision, don't hesitate to seek a second opinion. Many international health insurance plans cover the cost of a second opinion, which can provide you with more confidence in your medical choices.

Emergency Evacuation Plan: If you're in a remote area or far from advanced medical facilities, having a plan for emergency medical evacuation can be a lifesaver. Ensure your insurance covers this possibility.

 

Retirees Seeking International Healthcare in Thailand

Retirees looking to purchase international healthcare in Thailand should be considerate of the mandatory health insurance requirements for the Thailand visas, and secure adequate coverage for their time in the Land of Smiles. 

Expats planning on retiring in Thailand will likely be choosing a Non-Immigrant O-A or O-X Visa, which are Thailand long-stay visas. These visas require health insurance with a minimum of THB ฿3,000,000 (USD $100,000) per policy year, with COVID-19 coverage as well.

When choosing an international insurance plan, retirees should seek out comprehensive coverage that will cover all their medical needs and provide them access to all the best private hospitals and care.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can foreigners access healthcare in Thailand? 

Foreigners can access public healthcare in Thailand, but will not be able to access private healthcare unless they have proof of a private insurance plan. 

2. What are expats covered for without a health insurance plan?

Expats will be responsible for 100% of their medical bills without any health insurance plans. 

3. Is international health insurance necessary in Thailand?

International health insurance is necessary for expats who value high-quality private hospitals and multilingual care. Also, some categories of visa holders in Thailand will be required to have private health insurance, such as retirees on non-immigrant OA and non-immigration O-X visas.

 

Additional Information and Resources

COVID-19 Insurance in Thailand

In 2023 travelers are no longer required to show proof of vaccination or COVID-19 test results to enter Thailand, however, expats are still able to purchase a COVID-19 insurance policy when visiting Thailand. 

COVID-19 policy coverage ranges across different plans, but generally, it will cover the costs of COVID-19 treatment, life insurance coverage, and additional travel expenses that result from the virus. 

Mandatory Health Insurance for Retirees in Thailand

Expats moving to Thailand who are 50 or older and are applying for the non-immigrant O-A visa are required to have health insurance that covers at least THB ฿3 million, or USD 85,000.

 

Conclusion

As an expat, you may also want to consider expat health insurance in Thailand, which are usually international health insurance plans. Whether you visit your home country or travel abroad on holiday, or even decide to relocate to another country, these types of plans offer worldwide coverage. 

Finding the right health insurance for you will depend on what level of coverage you may need, along with your different health priorities. International health insurance plans offer worldwide coverage and peace of mind for all of your traveling adventures. 

Pacific Prime has got you covered. Whichever Thailand health insurance plan you require, our highly-trained advisors take into account your exact needs and budget, and recommend the right plan. What’s more, they also offer localized advice and support throughout your insurance journey. 

We offer a wide variety of insurance plans with customizable coverage for all of your medical needs. Contact us today for more information about our international insurance.

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