Thailand Moving To Make Health Insurance Compulsory For Long-Stay Visas

February 8, 2019

The Thai government recently revealed a new proposal that they’re working on, one that’ll make health insurance in Thailand mandatory for any foreigners staying in the country with a one-year Non-Immigrant Visa “O-A” (Long Stay), with the proposal made by a key committee made by a multi-bureau group, with assistance and oversight from the Medical Hub Committee.

The criterion was formulated under the Immigrant Act 1979, and was checked by the Medical Hub Committee. When they gave their approval, the proposal was moved forward, according to Dr. Kittisak Klapdee, adviser to the Minister of Public Health who was assigned by Public Health Minister Dr. Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn to be a part of the Tourism and Sport Vice Minister Ittipol Khunplome at the Medical Hub Committee’s second annual meeting, to make sure the amendment was handled properly.

Once the proposal come into effect, foreigners staying in the country with a long stay visa will have to get health insurance in Thailand covering their entire stay in the country with a minimum Bt40,000 out-patient medical bill coverage, alongside a minimum of Bt40,000 in-patient medical bill coverage.

Expats in the country that already have overseas insurance policies that fit the minimum requirement would not need to consult health insurance in Thailand for an insurance policy. Dr. Klapdee says that these people can apply for long-stay visas with their foreign insurance policies.

The amendment is being refined by the cooperative efforts of the Foreign Ministry, the Immigration Bureau, the Interior Ministry, the Office of Insurance Commission, the Public Health Ministry, the Thai General Insurance Association, and the Thai Life Assurance Association. Once the amendment’s details and guidelines have been ironed out, and it moves forward to the next stage, Dr. Klapdee says it’ll be forwarded to the Cabinet for approval as a formal policy.

The goal of the amended criterion is to ensure that people staying in Thailand with long-stay visas, primarily elderly foreigners, have health protection while in the country. The key committee is also hoping that this amendment will also benefit healthcare in Thailand, including public and private hospitals, according to Dr. Klapdee.