Thai health insurance basics

What are the basic health insurance rules to keep in mind?

1. Like in most countries, insurance in Thailand is tightly regulated for the protection of consumers. Insurance companies operate under the regulations of the countries they are located in. These regulations may differ somewhat from country to country. Therefore, an insurance policy purchased from a company located in another country can not be transferred to a company located in Thailand, even though both companies may have the same name and are offspring's of the same parent.

2. You must live in Thailand to purchase health insurance in Thailand. And, in most cases, you can not take your health insurance with you when leave Thailand to relocate to another country.

3. Insurance in Thailand is regulated by the Department of Insurance and is divided into two separate categories for regulation, 1) General Insurance and 2) Life Insurance. Health insurance coverage is offered through both categories of insurance.

• General Insurance companies offer a wide variety of stand-alone health insurance plans that range from very low to very high coverage. They can be purchased with relative ease by almost any expat living in Thailand.

• Life insurance companies sell health insurance as riders to life insurance policies. You have to purchase life insurance in order to get the health insurance. Health insurance riders sold with life insurance provide basic hospital coverage and are all somewhat similar in the coverage they provide. As a rule, expats must have a Work Permit to purchase life insurance.

4. Thailand also has Social Insurance health care schemes for the benefit of its lower income citizens. Expats don't qualify for this. But many employers offer government SSI group insurance coverage. Expat employees are required to participate, also.

5. International health insurance is also available to expats in living Thailand. But its coverage and cost tends to be a bit of overkill for the medical care needs of Thailand.







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