Around this time of year, international schools in Thailand are busy recruiting expat teachers for the next academic year, and helping new arrivals prepare for life in the country.
If you’re one of them, you may be excited about sampling Thai flavors, or visiting breathtaking natural sights here. That being said, it’s vital not to overlook practical matters, one of which is healthcare.
Trust me, I can tell you first-hand that a trip to the hospitals in Thailand can be quite heavy on the pocket - especially if you want to access top private hospitals that cater to foreigners’ needs.
Some of you may be lucky enough to be offered health insurance by your school (though, you may consider securing additional insurance), while others may be left to handle things entirely on their own. Either way, it can’t hurt to be extra prepared.
Let me share with you some interesting findings from Pacific Prime Thailand, the insurance brokerage I work for. Our latest Cost of Health Insurance Report 2020-2021 gives you an in-depth understanding of the factors that influence premiums in the country, so that you can get a better idea of the country’s healthcare and health insurance landscape.
Thailand is the cheapest location to get insured
Did you know that Thailand has the lowest health insurance premiums in 2020 out of the 100 locations we surveyed? On average, the cost of health insurance is USD $1,934 for individuals and USD $7,257 for families. This is great news for those looking to get insured in the country, as it means you can easily find a health plan for only a couple of hundred bucks each month.
Health insurance premiums dropped by almost 50%
What’s more, health insurance premiums dropped by close to 50% in 2020. This trend mirrors the overall decline in the cost of health insurance in the majority of countries studied.
A number of factors shaping the Thai healthcare and health insurance sector
In general, Thailand has a robust healthcare system. The country hasn’t witnessed hospitals being overwhelmed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as was the case in many other countries, including my home country, the UK. However, it’s worth pointing out some trends the country is facing that are set to impact both its healthcare and health insurance sector.
1. People here are living longer on average
As the country with one of the highest numbers of over 60s in Southeast Asia, Thailand will need to meet the healthcare demands of its senior population.
2. Illnesses are on the rise
Likewise, health problems are also increasing as people age. This includes heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes.
3. Medical tourists will continue to flock to the country post-COVID-19
Thailand is one of the top destinations for medical tourists, and hospitals plan to invest in new hospitals and the latest medical equipment to cater to this demographic.
4. Health insurance will be compulsory for a larger group of foreigners
All retirees on non-immigrant O-A and O-X visas will need to get health insurance, while all foreigners arriving during the pandemic will also need COVID-19 insurance.
5. Global health insurers are providing more options
With more health insurance options in the market and healthy competition between insurers, consumers in Thailand are set to benefit.
And that wraps up pretty much what you need to know about healthcare and health insurance trends in Thailand. I hope it has been an informative and useful read. For those of you who want to dig deeper into the topic, you can download Pacific Prime’s Cost of Health Insurance Report 2020-2021.
If you’d like to secure health insurance, or even just have a chat about healthcare and health insurance in the country, you can also email me firstname.lastname@example.org or contact my team at Pacific Prime.