Expats in Thailand who look for affordable health insurance that would cover them in private facilities across Thailand, South East Asia, or even worldwide, may find it discouraging when it comes to revealing the premiums quoted.
Having access to private hospitals, English speaking doctors and staff, as well as direct billing are sometimes something expats can’t bear to be without, and it’s understandable.
In today’s post, I will not focus or mention the public hospital’s system and insurance, as from my experience international clients value and prefer private medical service. However, high-class medical services and other perks that come with private health insurance come with a price - a price some might find too high.
That’s why today I want to share with you some of the 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.
Know your needs and your budget
It all really comes to what you need from your insurance plan, and what can you afford to pay for it. Some of the ways to decrease the premiums include obtaining medical insurance with only inpatient benefits, lower coverage limits, certain exclusions (for pre-existing conditions, for example), but also knowing the prices and comparing health insurance plan before deciding on one. Let’s take a closer look at your options on securing affordable expat health insurance in Thailand below:
Do I need outpatient coverage?
Of course, an inpatient-only expat insurance plan will see lower premiums than a more comprehensive option with outpatient benefits, plus dental and vision, for example. If you’re a healthy twenty-something without any major health conditions, a major medical plan might be just right for you - and for your budget!
Consider pre-existing conditions
Another important point to consider here is whether you have any pre-existing condition. Many international insurance companies offer to cover the costs related to such conditions in exchange for higher premiums. A decision to whether cover your pre-existing conditions is the most affordable approach vis-a-vis paying for the treatment of such conditions out-of-pocket is not an easy one, but it can significantly lower your insurance premiums.
Do I need coverage outside of Thailand?
Do you plan to reside in Thailand only, or are treating Thailand as a base for traveling across Asia? If you’re mainly focusing on working and staying in Thailand, and occasionally traveling abroad, then a local plan might be sufficient and cheaper, and when necessary you can just obtain travel insurance for your trip.
Do I plan to work abroad for an extended time?
However, having an international health plan comes with many perks that will deem useful in the future - the main advantage here being continuous coverage for any conditions developed while you’re enrolled in the current plan. Staying with one insurer ensures that you won’t undergo medical underwriting, and save money on pre-existing conditions premiums loading in the future.
Compare plans online
Shopping for health insurance nowadays is quite easy, and with online comparison tools, you can have an overview of what you can expect to pay in seconds! Take for instance Pacific Prime’s website and quickly compare health insurance in Thailand there. With the option of choosing different coverage levels and adding and removing benefits, you can get a clear overview of the current state of premiums for an insurance product you seek in Thailand.
Be wary of the cheapest plans and less established insurers
When it comes to health insurance, "you get what you pay for" is an especially true saying. Plans with the cheapest premiums are often too good to be true and cause some trouble when it comes actually to use the plan. Poor customer service, restrictive provider network, no direct billing option, high amount of exclusions and out-of-pocket costs can exceed the price of your cheap health insurance.
Similar issues can arise from choosing cheap health insurance from a less established insurer, who by luring clients with low premiums, might suddenly increase them during the renewal process, forcing them to again look for a new option, or pay new, high premiums.
Last, but not least - ask me and my team for impartial advice
My team’s time and expertise are free of charge for you. So if you’re looking into changing your current plan to a new one, removing or adding certain benefits or you are simply new at the whole international health insurance matter, engaging an insurance broker, such as Pacific Prime Thailand is a smart choice.
Contact me or my team today for a free to affordable health insurance quote, and rest assured we’ll do anything in our power to match your budget with your needs