The face of Ajarn health insurance - and ready to answer any questions you have about healthcare and insurance in Thailand and Asia. Send your questions to email@example.com
5 tips for dealing with homesickness as a teacher in Thailand
Experiencing homesickness or culture shock can be a challenging and uncomfortable experience. It can leave you feeling isolated and lonely, struggling to connect with others, particularly if you encounter a language barrier.
5 most common employee benefits for English teachers in Thailand
What kind of employee benefits are available to teachers in the country?
Every employee working in Thailand will get social security, and some employers will apply for it on your behalf. You must pay 5% of your monthly salary, up to a maximum of THB ฿750, which will be taken directly from your paycheck.
Where can expat teachers in Thailand find mental health support?
Let me share with you a number of channels where support is available.
The No.1 thing to remember here is that mental health issues are just like physical health issues: lots of people have them. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for help
Why are annual health check-ups essential?
Do you only see your doctor when you are sick? If so, you might want to change that.
From early detection to monitoring chronic diseases, annual health check-ups can help keep your health in check.
COVID-19: Thailand u-turns on new entry regulations
An update on the latest Thailand entry requirements
While many countries are reintroducing COVID-19 entry regulations in response to China’s opening, Thailand has decided to do a u-turn.
5 tips for renewing health insurance
Consider premium increases, benefit changes and more.
While it may be tempting to overlook the renewal process, this isn’t a sensible move in the long term.
Can you get health insurance if you smoke weed?
Although marijuana is now being openly sold in Thailand, health insurance coverage for weed smokers is still debatable.
While you may prefer not to disclose your drug usage, remember that it’s never a good idea to lie or withhold information on an insurance application form.
What is the state of health insurance in Thailand?
Uncovering the ins and outs of the international private medical insurance (IPMI) sector
Annual reports on the state of health insurance identify the overarching factors at play globally, and zoom into region and country-specific trends.
COVID-19 and telehealth
How expats can access treatment remotely in Thailand
Certain positive cases can access remote treatment via one of three telehealth apps.
International health insurance vs travel insurance
What are the major differences between the two?
Travel insurance offers financial protection from all the unexpected pitfalls of traveling. An international health insurance plan solely focuses on providing health coverage
Does smoking affect health insurance?
Whether you smoke occasionally or are a chain smoker, you might be wondering if this habit will affect your health insurance.
To be considered a non-smoker by health insurers, you must have given up smoking for at least 2 years. Honesty is expected on health insurance application forms so you will need to make your smoker status clear.
What is the cost of health insurance in Thailand?
The cost of health insurance premiums have crept up and people’s needs have changed in Thailand.
If you want to top up your existing health insurance plan, you should learn about the average cost of health insurance and trends.
Bye bye 'test and go' scheme
Major travel restrictions are dropped just in time for the summer holidays.
Thailand is now dropping most of its entry requirements. I’ll get you up to speed with the latest changes in this article.
Best jobs for Thailand expats in 2022
Here are the most popular jobs among expats in Thailand and their requirements.
The Land of Smiles attracts people from all walks of life. From tourists and working professionals to retirees and families, there’s something for everyone in Thailand.
How to ease anxiety over the 'Omicron wave' in Thailand
Even though a lot of us have been doubly jabbed against COVID-19, I find that anxiety over the new ‘Omicron’ wave is all too common.
I’m not saying that we should abandon our hygiene practices altogether, pretend the pandemic never existed, and go back to life as usual. All I’m saying is that we need to find coping mechanisms to keep us and our communities both physically safe and mentally well.
The expat's guide to social security in Thailand
While Thailand is hardly characterized as a welfare state, it does have a decent social security system in place.
If you’re legally employed by a company based in the country, you’ll be automatically enrolled in the social security system, though many expats and foreigners are unaware of how the system works or how to make full use of it.
6 key questions to ask about teacher’s health insurance in Thailand
Here are some questions you need to ask about teacher’s health insurance in Thailand to ensure you get the ideal amount of coverage.
It’s advisable to secure health insurance when teaching in Thailand, whether your school provides it or not. But how are premiums paid? Are pre-existing conditions covered? Is your plan portable? etc.
Pay less Thailand income tax with health insurance
Did you know that you can reduce your taxable income with a health insurance plan for the current tax period?
The Thai government encourages us to buy health insurance. What that means is that we’re allowed to use our policy as a form of tax deductible. For tax filing purposes, the Revenue Department allows health premiums of up to THB ฿ 25,000 per year when filing tax returns.
Traveling back into Thailand?
Here’s your guide to the COVID-19 insurance requirements
Alas, it’s not going to be as simple as packing your bags and booking your flights to Thailand. From getting a COVID-19 PCR test to securing COVID-19 insurance and more, expats will have to navigate a string of requirements before they’re allowed to return.
What actually happens when someone tests positive for COVID-19 in Thailand?
The system can be quite convoluted, but hopefully this step-by-step guide breaks it down for you.
5 mental health tips for expat teachers in Thailand
Mental health tips to help you cope with the pandemic and get better.
According to many of my expat friends and international school clients in Bangkok and other parts of Thailand, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a detrimental effect on their mental health.
Settling hospital bills with health insurance in Thailand
What happens in that time between being told you can leave hospital and settling the bill with your insurance company?
The scenario will vary from hospital to hospital and the type of hospital you are in. Generally, if you have health insurance you could settle your bill by “paying and claiming” or through the pre-authorization / direct billing process.
Phuket's "Sandbox" scheme
It’s been a long time coming and I am ecstatic to announce that Phuket is now open to tourists again! Hooray!
I hope I can provide you with some useful information about the Phuket “Sandbox” scheme. I am very excited about the developments down south and hope they will benefit the rest of the country. The future is bright!
Expats in Thailand: How to register for a COVID-19 vaccine
A summary of the current situation regarding vaccines for expats
Ever since Thailand’s mass vaccination drive began on June 7th, I’ve been inundated with calls and texts from my fellow expats in the country asking whether they can register for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Health insurance tips for young families
As a parent, you want to take care of your family in the best way possible. These health insurance tips can help you do just that.
The good news is that you don’t have to pay hefty out-of-pocket payments when you have the right family health insurance plan. So how do you choose the right one?
Celebrating Thai New Year
Alcohol and your health insurance
Besides being illegal and dangerous, anything that happens to you or other people while you’re operating a vehicle and under the influence will void your insurance. Being drunk while riding a motorbike or driving a car is a quick and easy way to lose coverage.
An expat's guide to handling medical emergencies in Thailand
While living abroad is full of surprises, medical emergencies shouldn’t be one of them.
Both the hospital and volunteer ambulance services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There’s good coverage throughout the country, especially in and around Bangkok.
What is the cost of international health insurance in Thailand?
Unlocking interesting findings and analysis about the cost of health insurance in the Land of Smiles
Did you know that Thailand has the lowest health insurance premiums in 2020 out of the 100 locations we surveyed? This is great news for those looking to get insured in the country.
Muay Thai training in Thailand and injury insurance
What do you need to know about common muay Thai injuries and can insurance cover them?
Here are some of my tips to stay safe before signing up for your first Muay Thai class in Thailand.
Sports-related injuries and health insurance in Thailand
Tips before getting straight into a sport you love.
More and more people are turning to sports and exercise than ever before in Thailand, which is a good trend. But keeping yourself injury-free is of paramount importance!
Mandatory COVID-19 travel insurance for visiting Thailand
Over the course of the pandemic, travel insurance in Thailand has gone from a “nice-to-have” to a “definitely-must-have”.
Truth be told, the process can be incredibly puzzling. Not only do you have to keep up with the changing (and let’s face it, bureaucratic) regulations, but you also have to familiarize yourself with insurance terms.
Everything you need to know about hospital insurance in Thailand
Working your way through the jargon minefield, etc
Coming from the UK, where private health insurance isn’t the norm, I can definitely see why many expats struggle to get their head around it when they move abroad. Especially in Thailand, where foreigners don’t have equal access to public healthcare services as locals do.
Time for a health check-up
What should a typical health checkup package include in Thailand?
Personally, I would recommend sticking with the private hospitals if you can afford to. They tend to cost a lot more than government hospitals, but are typically value-for-money when compared to hospitals of the same standards in the West
Tips for coronavirus lockdown as an expat
Surviving these traumatic times
We’re certainly going through a difficult time, one that none of us were prepared for. With that said, I hope these tips will help you through the coronavirus lockdown.
Does insurance cover the COVID-19 coronavirus?
Are you covered by your health or travel insurance provider?
Since we first heard about the outbreak, the number of inquiries we receive from both insured and uninsured people has gone up like crazy. People all over the world are in a state of panic and, with the growing number of cases and affected areas, that doesn’t seem to be going away just yet.
Do you need dental insurance in Thailand?
What are the options that will guarantee to keep you smiling?
In this blog, I’ll go through the different dental care options in Thailand and whether you can trust them.
5 recommended detox retreats to start your new year in Thailand
I’ve come to learn that the full detox experience goes far beyond visiting a regular spa.
The most suitable detox location will depend on your self-improvement objectives. Whether you are looking to strengthen your physical health, improve your immune system, or lose weight in a healthy and efficient way, there’ll always be a detox program that targets your particular goal.
Chikungunya in Thailand
All you need to know about avoiding infection
In Bangkok, cases of chikungunya infection have also been reported. In August, Despite the worrying signs of a chikungunya outbreak, the general public remains largely ignorant of the issue, with many still not even knowing what the disease entails.
4 most important things to consider when relocating with children in Thailand
From education to food, neighborhood and healthcare
Oscar started asking me for advice as he and his family are planning to relocate to Thailand. To be honest, I wasn’t surprised. The warm weather, beautiful beaches, delicious (and spicy) food, and quality healthcare, who wouldn’t want to live here?
100 baht tourist tax to cover basic insurance in Thailand
Is it worth waiting for?
The money is said to be used to ease the burden on Thai taxpayers having to pay for tourists’ emergency medical treatment and repatriation of people who die while on holiday.
All about emergency medical evacuations
What are your options if you need transporting by air, etc to a medical facility?
The reality is, if you ever find yourself caught in a medical emergency, the logistical costs of transferring to the nearest adequate medical facility could run into many, many thousands of Thai Baht.
Retiring in the Land of Smiles
I've been living here for three years and I have never regretted it.
Moving to Thailand could turn out to be your best decision, like it was for me, but you should be prepared and be sure of the lifestyle you want to live post-retirement.
Should you consider private health insurance for an elderly family member when moving to Thailand?
Taking Thailand's new health insurance laws into consideration
People in the latter stage of their life are more susceptible to contracting diseases and flu, therefore health insurance is essential. And in today's world, there are some pretty good plans out there for the elderly.
Why is health insurance important for kids?
Keeping your little ones in good health
When it comes to keeping children in good health in Thailand, costs can quickly rise, especially if you’re seeking to take the private healthcare road for your kids.
The importance of insurance for protection against accidents
The common types of accidents and risks in Thailand for expats and travelers alike
On my way to work this morning, I couldn’t help but notice the massive traffic jams on both sides of the roads. I was walking along the top of the sky-walk when I happened to glance across to a group of backpackers looking somewhat bewildered by the road crossing........
Affordable private health insurance in Thailand
Shopping for health insurance nowadays is quite easy with online comparison tools.
Tips that will help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing your next affordable expat health insurance in Thailand that you can spare the money for, and be content with.
7 insider's tips for first-time Songkran partygoers
Insider's tips from a Songkran regular
"What's so great about it?", you might ask. Well, it's not all just about getting wet and drinking. What keeps me coming back year after year is that everyone is your friend during Songkran.
Mandatory health insurance for Thailand expats
Is it time for Thailand's golden oldies to get insured?
A recent government policy shift has meant that foreigners residing in the country will soon have to arrange compulsory health insurance. I’d like to share with you how this new policy is going to affect expats in Thailand.
How to prepare for a medical emergency when traveling
Questions to ask when shopping around for health / travel insurance
When faced with a medical emergency, choosing a hospital may not be an option for you. But in the event that you are able to choose your medical facility, it helps to have researched the nearest reputable facilities before flying to your holiday destination.
Wacky insurance claims
Unusual and funny travel insurance claims from around the world
Beyond the “usual” travel insurance claims such as emergency medical treatment, or stolen luggage, travelers from around the world sometimes also experienced quite funny and unheard of mishaps.
A few tips for your solo trip to Thailand
Getting around and staying safe, etc
Thailand is both a great and not-so-good place for solo travelling, and I’d like to share with you some tips on how to plan and experience a solo trip here in Thailand so that you can make the most of your time here.
Do you need AD&D insurance in Thailand?
Peace of mind for your beneficiaries
In the case of the policyholder’s death, a lump sum of money will be paid to the beneficiary marked in the policy, which can be used to cover the costs of the funeral, and/or body repatriation.
Dental insurance for expats in Thailand
Why private dental insurance can come in handy
While you may think that the dental coverage provided by your employer as part of a group health insurance policy is enough, chances are that the level of benefits is often too low to meet your needs.
Going home for the holidays
Are you covered for travel and medical issues when you are back on home soil?
While you might think you are still covered in your home country, chances are you are not.
Air pollution in Thailand
What is the impact on your health?
It is very common for those residing in big cities such as Bangkok to draw open the curtains, only to be embraced by the jarring sight of smog and haze.
Top 4 fertility issues couples face in Thailand
Does health insurance cover infertility investigation and treatment?
While infertility is becoming a bigger issue here in Thailand, there are options available to couples looking to increase their chances of conceiving by detecting and treating any infertility issues early.
The importance of having critical illness insurance
It's definitely something worth thinking about.
While it’s good to have outpatient benefits that cover minor diseases such as fever and flu, it’s the critical ailments that you should be looking out for. If you’re diagnosed with some form of critical illness, not only will you have to pay for the often exorbitant medical bills, but you may also end up having to take extra time off work to receive treatment, or even become unable to work.
Health insurance exclusions
Addressing the elephant in the room
One of the most common mistakes I often see people make is skimming through their health insurance T&Cs without properly reading the exclusions section - which details what their plan won't cover.
Southeast Asia travel insurance: what you need to know
You may think that nothing bad will happen to you during your travels, but some things just can’t be predicted!
If you are going to explore distant places, engage in so-called “adventurous activities,” or rent a motorbike - then I would suggest making sure your Southeast Asia travel insurance covers you for as many situations as possible?
Shopping around for health insurance
Five questions that teachers should be asking
I strongly recommend buying teacher's health insurance to protect yourself, your family, and your finances while you're here.
Understanding medical insurance
What does the small print all mean?
Most medical insurance sold in Thailand, including medical insurance riders found on life insurance, is formed around Basic Hospital Inpatient Coverage, which is broken down into four areas of coverage: 1) Daily Room and Board, 2) Hospital General Expenses, 3) Surgery and 4) Inpatient Doctor Visits.
Life insurance for savings or family protection
A detailed look at what life insurance is all about
I strongly believe that life insurance should primarily be purchased to guarantee financial security for loved ones, to cover payment of a debt (house purchase) or guarantee continuation of a business should an owner/partner die unexpectedly.
Health cover for existing medical problems
Is it possible to get insurance to cover treatment of an existing problem?
Iit still bothers me that many people with existing medical problems can't get insurance to help cover the treatment of medical problems. But, there are some options.
Buying hospital inpatient (IPD) coverage in Thailand
The 5 areas of health insurance coverage that you should be aware of
Most medical insurance plans sold in Thailand, including those packaged with life insurance policies, focus on providing basic hospital Inpatient (IPD) coverage.
Tell it to the OIC
There's a new sheriff in town
Being a stranger in a strange land causes many expats to become a bit paranoid at times. This can be especially true when considering the purchase of health and accident insurance in Thailand. Whom can you trust? What are the "hidden" exclusions that health insurers can use to get out of paying your claim?
How did they know?
When hospitals sharing information can prove costly
Recently, someone sent me an e-mail asking me if health insurance companies and hospitals in Thailand share information among themselves without permission from the patient.
Who's to blame?
Always understand the terms and conditions of a health insurance policy
I often read complaints about the standard exclusions found in the terms and conditions (T&C) of a particular insurance company's policy. What the complainers don't realize is that these exclusions are in all health insurance policies.
The medical world is changing
More expensive health insurance premiums can mean better equipment
Things keep changing in the field of medical care - and that means that costs keep increasing. The good news, though, is that much of the increase in cost is due to the hospitals buying new and improved test equipment to allow them to quickly spot and diagnose medical problems that would have previously been missed.
TIT - life insurance
Misconceptions about life insurance sold in Thailand
One expat forum contributor claimed that the Thai government was using a tax deduction to get people to buy life insurance that the Thai government knew was overpriced. Strangers in a strange land can really say some stupid things on these forums.
Health insurance marketing
A look at the different aspects of health insurance policies in Thailand
Health insurance here in Thailand, as a rule, is much cheaper and much simpler than the health insurance most expats are probably used to.
What about high blood pressure?
Always be 'up front' with your health insurer about high blood pressure
Last year we had a couple of fairly recent applicants get hospitalized. Their hospitalization had something to do with their history of hypertension.
Thai health insurance basics
What are the basic health insurance rules to keep in mind?
Two points to consider are firstly, you must live in Thailand to purchase health insurance in Thailand, and secondly, insurance in Thailand is regulated by the Department of Insurance.
Where's Santa Claus
Remember - health insurance is a business
Taxpayer supported health care is not a yet a reality for most of us. Now, we have no other choice but to rely on private health insurers for our medical care needs.
Keeping the money jar filled
A breakdown of health insurance costs
Buying health insurance, as well as any other type of insurance, is much like everyone putting money together into one big jar for use in the event of a medical emergency.
We get letters
A selection of letters from ajarn readers
Two years ago I was in a bad motorcycle accident and spent three months in the hospital including three weeks in an induced coma. I am doing ok now, however, I need powerful pain medications to be comfortable enough to get around.
Health insurance in Thailand
A reality check
There are basically 2 types of health insurance coverage available in Thailand, government Social Security Insurance (SSI) and non-government, privately funded health insurance.
Three potentially dangerous medical conditions
Hypertension, hyperlipidemia and diabetes
Ajarn.com's health insurance expert, Johnny Chan, looks at three medical problems that can't be cured but can certainly be controlled.
Clarifying OPD and IPD
There's no need to be confused
I really hate sending out claim rejection notices to clients. Lately, though, we have had to send out quite a few. Looking through them to see why, I discovered that most of the claims had one thing in common.
Getting claims paid
Three types of health insurance buyer
As a rule, there really are no good or bad companies when it comes to paying claims, although some are a little better than others. It’s mainly a matter of timing and situation.
The dangers of self-diagnosis
Being your own doctor can be unhealthy
I fully understood why this person's claim had been rejected and his coverage cancelled. And, after having read his reply to them, I realized that he had absolutely no understanding of high blood pressure and how it could have been the cause of his heart attack.
Please help me,. I have Crohn's Disease!
Will group health insurance cover a pre-existing condition?
I suggest that the letter writer check with his doctor to see if another more readily available form of medication would be just as acceptable for his needs. If not, then he should forget about coming to Thailand.