Ricky Batten

Expat’s guide to health insurance in Thailand

As an expat, I understand how hard it is to find the right coverage from numerous plans in the country’s insurance market.

The rainy season is coming to an end, while the weather is becoming cooler and drier by the day. You might notice some of your students falling ill because of the constant change in weather as the new school term begins, and it’s only natural to be concerned about catching one of these ailments yourself.

While the cost of healthcare in Thailand is on the low side compared to the rest of the world, the treatments for rainy and dry season illnesses can easily cost you an arm and a leg! Securing a comprehensive insurance plan is an essential step you can take to ensure you stay protected from unforeseen medical bills and give it all for your students during these seasons.

As an expat, I understand how hard it is to find the right coverage from numerous plans in the country’s insurance market. To get you started, I suggest that you familiarize yourself with different types of plans available specifically for expats living in Thailand.

Expat Health Insurance

Expat health insurance is designed to offer exhaustive coverage for expats residing or working in another country for a long period of time. As an expat teacher in Thailand, it’s likely that your school has already provided you with some type of health insurance. However, the plan your school provides may not offer every coverage you need, and supplementing any such deficiencies with a top-up plan is highly recommended.

What’s more, expat teachers in Thailand aren’t normally eligible for the local public healthcare system, so they can benefit from a flexible range of coverage that’s tailored to their needs with this type of health insurance.

In addition to a wider provider network, direct billing feature, and 24/7 support services, most expat health insurance plans offer coverage for:

  • Inpatient and outpatient treatments

  • Emergency evacuation and repatriation

  • Computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans

  • Chronic conditions

  • Pre-existing conditions

  • Maternity and newborn care

  • Dental and vision care

Family Health Insurance

Family health insurance offers coverage for your whole family rather than only yourself. Just like expat health insurance, this type of insurance usually allows you to adjust the benefits as much as you’d like to ensure that you and your family are protected from financial burden related to healthcare and medical treatment expenses while residing in another country.

The upside of this type of insurance is that the premiums for each person in the family is remarkably lower compared to getting an expat health insurance plan separately for each family member, making it an ideal choice for expat teachers who are living in Thailand with their spouses and children.

As the plans and types of coverage differ from insurer to insurer, family health insurance generally provide you and your loved ones with coverage for:

  • Inpatient and outpatient treatments

  • Dental and vision care

  • Companion beds and hospital fees

Children Health Insurance

As a father myself, my children mean the world to me. That’s why I want them to receive necessary vaccinations and high-quality treatments to safeguard their wellbeing during a pivotal stage of their lives. As children are particularly vulnerable to illnesses and accidents, protecting them with medical coverage through a family health insurance plan or individual health insurance plans allows you to focus on taking care of your little ones without having to worry about hefty medical bills.

While some insurance companies require parents to purchase an individual health insurance policy for themselves before securing one for their child, most insurers offer coverage for children regardless of whether the parents purchase a policy for themselves or not. Therefore, it’s best to check with your insurer or consult with an insurance intermediary before securing a plan for your child.

Apart from children’s benefits like discounts on services and free vaccinations some hospitals offer, health insurance plans for children normally offer coverage for:

  • Inpatient and outpatient treatments

  • Emergency evacuation and repatriation

  • Vaccination

  • Dental care

Planning to secure health insurance as an expat teacher in Thailand?

Finding health insurance plans for expats in the Land of Smiles isn’t an easy task, but it’s even harder to digest the countless policies insurance companies put out on the Thai insurance market. Luckily, I work for a well-established insurance brokerage called Pacific Prime Thailand, and I can assure you that there’s a plan that’s most suitable for your needs and budget.

If you’d like to have your questions regarding health insurance in Thailand answered, my team at Pacific Prime Thailand and I are more than happy to provide you with impartial advice to make your experience as an expat teacher in Thailand as delightful as possible. You’re always welcome to contact my team or contact me at ajarn@pacificprime.co.th.


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