Health insurance coverage adjusted to attract more long-stay, high-spending elderly expats
Foreigners aged over 70 living in Thailand under a 1 year non-immigrant O-A visa will now be able to buy health insurance with a minimum coverage of $100,000 (approximately THB3 million) for medical expenses and treatment of Covid-19, Public Health Deputy Minister Dr Satit Pitutecha said on Tuesday.
The ministry has increased the health insurance limit from THB40,000 for outpatient care and THB400,000 for inpatient care to THB3 million to attract foreigners with high purchasing power to live in Thailand while ensuring their medical expenses are fully covered during their stay.
“This adjustment will contribute to the government’s plan of making Thailand a global medical hub and promote health tourism in the country,” Satit pointed out.
The new rules also facilitate expats who cannot purchase insurance in Thailand and thus face having their applications for extension of stay rejected, as these applications can now use health insurance from abroad or government welfare from abroad. This however must be certified by a relevant government agency, such as a foreign embassy in Thailand or the country’s Foreign Ministry.
Expats can also buy Thai health insurance online via https://longstay.tgia.org, which features 17 Thai insurance companies to choose from.
Immigration Office statistics indicate the number of applications for the 1 year non-immigrant O-A visa since 2017 has shown a rising trend, except during 2020-2021 due to the Covid-19 crisis.
In 2017, some 2,891 people applied for the visa. This number increased to 3,164 the following year and then to 4,222 in 2019. In 2020 the number of applicants dropped to 2,321 and down to 1,447 people in the first nine months of 2021.
The office also estimated that expatriates in this group spend around THB30,000-70,000 a month during their stay in the kingdom.