Walter van der Wal

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 Walter@PacificPrime.com


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.


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.


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.


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.


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The Hot Spot


Will I find work in Thailand?

Will I find work in Thailand?

It's one of the most common questions we get e-mailed to us. So find out exactly where you stand.


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Can you hear me OK?

In today's modern world, the on-line interview is becoming more and more popular. How do you prepare for it?


Contributions welcome

Contributions welcome

If you like visiting ajarn.com and reading the content, why not get involved yourself and keep us up to date?


Teacher mistakes

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What are the most common mistakes that teachers make when they are about to embark on a teaching career in Thailand? We've got them all covered.


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Renting an apartment?

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Need Thailand insurance?

Need Thailand insurance?

Have a question about health or travel insurance in Thailand? Walter van der Wal from Pacific Prime is Ajarn's resident expert.