Mandatory health insurance

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Dodger
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Re: Mandatory health insurance

Post by Dodger » Sun May 19, 2019 12:51 pm

Gaybutton wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 10:11 am
Of course, if low cost outpatient coverage can be obtained from a Thai insurance company - problem solved. But from what I've seen, and I hope I'm wrong, these insurance companies don't sell outpatient-only coverage. It has to be added to inpatient coverage. Is that correct?
I've received quotes and reviewed the whole range of health insurance policies offered by 6 of the top companies operating over here and have not yet seen an option to just purchase outpatient coverage.

To your point, outpatient treatment is very low cost in Thailand which is the reason why most people opt out of getting it. The extra money the insurance companies charge for outpatient is also way over the top considering these low cost services making it even less desirable.

I know I can get a decent policy with a low deductible for 8,000/month, but that doesn't include outpatient which is where the insurance companies start ripping people off, and they can drop you at any time once you reach age 65 which is a money gamble I haven't been willing to take.

When having health insurance becomes mandatory in July (?) people will start requesting modified policies with higher deductibles to offset the high cost of outpatient coverage resulting in them paying for almost all of their future health care costs directly out of their own pockets (deductibles) and the insurance companies won't be spending a dime.

The insurance companies don't want to insure people over age 65 in Thailand. They want to insure people who don't need health care. That's the bottom line.

I've sent a request to 2 different insurance companies to see if they are developing tailored policies to align with the new immigration requirements. I'll let you know when I hear anything.

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Re: Mandatory health insurance

Post by gera » Mon May 20, 2019 2:58 pm

RichLB wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 4:04 pm
Now on the issue of insurance itself. Many of us have health insurance in our home country that covers "emergency" situations while overseas. As an aside, in my case "emergency" seems to be pretty flexible - for example my US insurance policy covered cataract surgery, a broken bone in my hand, and a lung operation. So while not explicitly saying the coverage was good for outside USA, it did pay. Would this kind of coverage satisfy the new immigration "rule"?
Can you,please, share what kind of US insurance covers this? Maybe by private message?
Thanks

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Undaunted
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Re: Mandatory health insurance

Post by Undaunted » Tue May 21, 2019 7:55 am

U.S. Embassy issues advisory for medical insurance to U.S. expats living in Thailand:
https://thethaiger.com/thai-life/thaila ... -insurance
"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

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Gaybutton
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Re: Mandatory health insurance

Post by Gaybutton » Tue May 21, 2019 10:03 am

Undaunted wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 7:55 am
U.S. Embassy issues advisory for medical insurance to U.S. expats living in Thailand
What I see is the whole advisory could easily be condensed to "having medical insurance in Thailand is a good idea."

Meanwhile, not a word addressing anything about mandatory insurance, where to buy it if you have eligibility problems, or whether Thailand will allow people to self-insure.

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Re: Mandatory health insurance

Post by Gaybutton » Wed May 22, 2019 8:46 am

Travelerjim sent me the following opinion piece, published in The Phuket News. One point about mandatory medical insurance to prevent "runners" from skipping out on paying their bills is which group(s) of foreigners are the ones likely to do that. It probably is not those of us living permanently in Thailand on our retirement visas. More likely it is foreigners in Thailand who stay relatively short term. They run up medical bills, leave Thailand without paying, and they know once they are out of Thailand there is little or nothing Thailand can do about it.

Again, it is the cheaters and irresponsible people who cause problems that affect everyone else.
_________________________________________________________________

Phuket Opinion: Recalibrating the retirement visa

PHUKET: The move currently in progress to ensure retirees staying in Thailand on Non-Immigrant O-A “retirement” visas have some form of health insurance has opened a veritable can of worms.

By The Phuket News

May 19, 2019

In announcing the new policy – which has yet to be brought into effect – Dr Natthawut Prasertsiripong, Chief of the Ministry of Public Health Department of Health Service Support, noted that “foreigners who are in their elder years staying on this type of visa have more health issues than other foreigners staying on other types of visas.”

That’s not rocket science. Older people anywhere have more health issues than younger folk, but Dr Nutthawut also plainly pointed out that the government is looking to unload the burden of footing the bill for medical treatment left unpaid by senior expats who didn’t have the money to pay them.

No one is going to argue with any government wanting to rein in that bill, although recent figures announced on this issue have been very unclear exactly which types of tourists have left how much in unpaid medical bills. To that end, the Thai government has already taken better steps to provide at least basic insurance coverage for tourists entering the country. Now they’re trying to zero out any other credits in their ledger.

Under the new policy, the insurance coverage to be required for retirement visas must provide up to B40,000 coverage for outpatient treatment and up to B400,000 for inpatient treatment. To be fair, that’s not much, but that part is not the problem.

Dr Natthawut got much closer to the point when he admitted that consideration is being made for foreigners whose health risks are considered by private insurance companies as too high to offer coverage. That’s the age bracket we are talking about. Insurance policy prices skyrocket as applicants enter their later years. The whole idea of an insurance policy is to receive money in the hope that the money does not have to be paid back out. It’s a business, and older folk are just more likely to draw a claim due to health issues.

That’s why Dr Natthawut also pointed out, “The relevant authorities might consider requiring them to have higher deposits in bank accounts so as to make sure that they have enough to live on during their stay in the Kingdom of Thailand.”

And here’s the issue. These are the same foreigners that Thailand invited by offering so-called retirement visas so that people could spend their golden years – and their money – in Thailand without having to work. The very nature of the visas offered targeted these people. And now it seems that the message is, “You’re welcome to stay while you can spend your money, but if you get too ill you’d better go home.” That’s not exactly a well-thought-out strategy when inviting older people to come. Older people tend to have more life experience and see through such paper-thin intents.

Regardless, at this stage we can be grateful that the policy is not yet in force and that consideration is still being given in how to accommodate elder guests already staying in the country.

There are some other options on the table, such as reciprocal arrangements with foreign governments to provide medical care for their citizens while in Thailand, like those used across the EU and through independent arrangements such as that between Australia and Sweden. Let’s hope they use them.

After all, this is an entire form of long-stay tourism all of its own, with benefits to be gained by guests and hosts if managed well.

https://www.thephuketnews.com/phuket-op ... -71468.php

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Re: Mandatory health insurance

Post by fountainhall » Wed May 22, 2019 10:27 am

What pleases me about the above article is that the Doctor leading the discussion is at least aware of the problems facing retirees and that nothing seems yet set in stone. This is quite unlike the wham-bang-thank-you-ma'am attitude of the late and unlamented Immigration Chief.

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Gaybutton
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Re: Mandatory health insurance

Post by Gaybutton » Wed May 22, 2019 11:43 am

fountainhall wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 10:27 am
This is quite unlike the wham-bang-thank-you-ma'am attitude of the late and unlamented Immigration Chief.
Yes, but we're still waiting for the new immigration chief to let us know about any policy decisions that may affect those of us here on retirement visas. I'd like to hear from him even if he says there will be no policy changes. At least we would have a better idea of where we stand.

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Re: Mandatory health insurance

Post by Dodger » Wed May 22, 2019 1:55 pm

Following several phone conversations with AA Insurance Brokers/Pattaya I decided to arrange a meeting with their manager to discuss insurance policies for people over age 65 which meet the new (proposed) visa requirements.

I met with the manager this morning at his office in Pattaya and he provided the following information:

Foreigners with Non Immigrant Type O Visa's will not be required to show proof of insurance. Beginning in July of this year holders of Non Immigrant Type O-A Visa'as will be required to show proof of insurance. I know this this contrary to what many other sources are saying and defies any sense of logic, but according to the AA Manager, this is the way it's going to be. Personally, I'm still not convinced.

Several insurance companies operating in Thailand have now developed tailored policies in reaction to the proposed visa changes, although they are apparently not accepting applications from people over age 75. I reviewed documentation supporting this today including; the list of companies who provide these tailored policies, individual premium rates for all age brackets, and details of premium coverage for one of the listed companies (I selected Pacific Cross for this review). The companies who provide these tailored policies include, but may not be limited to, Thaiviviat, AXA, Pacific Cross, Thai Health, Aetna and LMG. These polices were designed to provide coverage of 400,000 THB Inpatient and 40,000 THB outpatient to directly align with the draft (proposed) Immigration requirements.

I will not be purchasing any healthcare insurance in reaction to this situation until the requirements are etched in stone. Well, on second thought, I'll have to settle for etched in clay.

Pacific Cross offers a policy which I reviewed called Standard Extra Plus. This policy provides a bit more coverage than the new tailored policy which costs 41,5979 THB/year for my age bracket (66-70). Standard Extra Plus provides 780,000 THB coverage per disability and 75% of outpatient services which exceeds the baseline requirements set by Immigration. This policy has no deductible and is lifetime. They offer a 25% discount if a 40,000 THB deductible is selected bringing the cost of the annual premium down to 39,000 THB. The policy must be paid on an annual basis only. A physical exam is required. Preexisting conditions are excluded from policy coverage. Free choice of hospitals, Cancer treatment is covered.

All we can do is pray that they will allow those who are currently uninsured and over the age of 75 to have enough money in the bank to cover their own healthcare, because without this option these individuals could have a serious concern.

I've now done all the research I need to be prepared but I don't plan on budging one inch until the clowns are off the stage and the fat lady sings.

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Gaybutton
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Re: Mandatory health insurance

Post by Gaybutton » Wed May 22, 2019 2:34 pm

Dodger wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 1:55 pm
Following several phone conversations with AA Insurance Brokers/Pattaya I decided to arrange a meeting with their manager
During your research, did you happen to find out if any insurance companies will sell outpatient-only coverage (for those of us who have inpatient coverage, but opted out of outpatient coverage)?

Dodger wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 1:55 pm
Foreigners with Non Immigrant Type O Visa's will not be required to show proof of insurance.
For most of us, that is what we call the retirement visa - This one:

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Re: Mandatory health insurance

Post by Jogger » Wed May 22, 2019 2:52 pm

Thank you Dodger for the very useful information. Sooner or later Thai immigration will realize there is not much difference if any between those with an O Visa and an O-A Visa...

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