Mandatory health insurance

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@DM
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Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:45 pm

Re: Mandatory health insurance

Post by @DM » Wed May 15, 2019 8:28 pm

Gaybutton wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 3:58 pm
puan wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 3:22 pm
What is the Thai word for "logical"? ;)
I actually looked it up on http://www.thai-language.com/

Guess what - there isn't one. Why am I not surprised?
FYI - It's มีเหตุผล

Up2u
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Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:06 am

Re: Mandatory health insurance

Post by Up2u » Wed May 15, 2019 8:49 pm

RichLB wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 4:04 pm
..... "Like everyone else, I'm confused by this new "rule". I know it has not been finalized yet (or has I recognize that no one knows the answer to these questions, but I'd appreciate the most informed guesses anyone has. "
I suggest you read bkkguy's comments on the sawatdee forum regarding the "confusion ". They mirror those of a visa agent who spoke to the PCEC club months ago. It would take time and a lot of input and discussion for TI to implement policy changes that would impact us non O visa holders doing annual extensions. To engage in idle speculation is pointless. Like you my USA medical policy covers urgent care and emergencies anywhere in the world and has paid my few medical claims in the past. Would that make TI happy if they implement some type of requirements...... who knows and who cares at this point in time?

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Gaybutton
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Location: Thailand

Re: Mandatory health insurance

Post by Gaybutton » Wed May 15, 2019 8:50 pm

@DM wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 8:28 pm
FYI - It's มีเหตุผล
Thank you. Now I have to wonder how often the powers-that-be actually use that word . . .

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Gaybutton
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Re: Mandatory health insurance

Post by Gaybutton » Thu May 16, 2019 3:23 am

Mandatory health insurance for retirement visa holders likely to take effect in July

May 16, 2019

By Chularat Saengpassa
The Nation

Foreigners aged 50 and above living in Thailand on a long-stay visa will likely have to buy health insurance from July onwards, as authorities are preparing guidelines to enforce the new rules.

Approved by the Cabinet last month, the new regulation will require expats on the long-stay non-immigrant O-A visa to have health insurance that offers Bt40,000 coverage for outpatient treatment and Bt400,000 for inpatient.

The requirement was introduced because foreign expats have piled up unpaid medical bills of more than Bt300 million since 2016.

“We will ask the Immigration Bureau, the Foreign Ministry and the Insurance Department for additional details and implementation guidelines next week,” Saowapa Jongkittipong, who leads the Health Service Support Department’s International Health Division, said yesterday.

She said that once the rule is implemented, applicants for the non-immigrant O-A visa, which is valid for one year from the date of issue, would be required to buy health insurance.

“Current holders of this visa will have to produce proof of their health insurance for visa renewal,” she said.

According to Saowapa, this requirement is necessary because medical treatments provided to many elderly long-time foreign residents have weighed heavily on the state coffers.

Last year, foreigners incurred Bt305 million in unpaid medical bills. Foreigners in 2017 left Bt346 million in unpaid medical bills. If categorised by the number of medical visits, statistics show about one-fifth of foreign patients did not pay their bills.

Huge unpaid bills

For instance, foreigners made 3.42 million medical visits last year, and did not pay for 680,000 of them, while in 2017, foreigners made 3.3 million medical visits and did not pay for 565,000 of them.

Saowapa said further discussions among relevant agencies would help establish which diseases would be covered under the mandatory health insurance.

The ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs have been instructed to inform all foreigners of these new requirements.

Currently, citizens of only 14 countries require health insurance when seeking Thai visas for five years and above.

Meanwhile, the Public Health Ministry has suggested that visa applicants purchase health insurance from one of the companies listed on www.longstay.tgia.org. The ministry has also told relevant agencies to plan how health insurance policies bought overseas will be verified.

The problem of bad debts incurred by foreigners has existed for many years.

Earlier this year, Health Service Support Department director-general Dr Nattawuth Prasertsiripong said his department had decided to establish claim centres in Chon Buri, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Phang Nga and Surat Thani provinces to help state hospitals collect what is owed to them by foreign patients. The very fact that such centres are required reflects the severity of the problem.

Taking note of this, the Public Health Ministry proposed to the Cabinet early last month that applicants of non-immigrant O-A visa be required to purchase health insurance.

Box:

KEY NUMBERS

Bad medical debts from expats have been cited in the move to make health insurance mandatory for foreigners aged 50 and above who are living in Thailand on a one-year long-stay visa.

2016

Non-immigrant (O-A) visa holders: 32 million

Number of medical visits by them: 2.6 million

Number of unpaid medical bills: 667,000

Number of long-stay expats seeking medical services: 71,288

Outstanding debt: Bt380 million

2017

Non-immigrant (O-A) visa holders: 35 million

Number medical visits by them: 3.3 million

Number of unpaid medical bills: 565,000

Number of long-stay expats seeking medical services: 68,696

Outstanding debt: Bt346 million

2018

Non-immigrant (O-A) visa holders: 38 million

Number of medical visits by them: 3.42 million

Number of unpaid medical bills: 680,000

Number of long-stay expats seeking medical services: 80,950

Outstanding debt: Bt305 million

Proposed mandatory health insurance

Bt40,000 coverage for outpatient treatment

Bt400,000 coverage for inpatient treatments

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/ ... l/30369468

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Gaybutton
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Re: Mandatory health insurance

Post by Gaybutton » Thu May 16, 2019 11:05 am

If my interpretation of what's going on is correct - emphasis on if - then if the following photo represents what is in your passport, you are NOT affected by this insurance rule - at least for now.

Image


If the following photo represents what is in your passport or represents what you are applying for, then you ARE affected by this insurance rule.

Image

This is my interpretation based on what I have been reading and seeing. However, I cannot guarantee that I am correct.

Based on the article in the previous post, Thailand certainly knows the names of people who cheated the hospitals. I wonder if they ban people who cheat and/or revoke the visas of those living in Thailand who don't pay or don't come up with a payment plan acceptable to the hospital and adhere to it. I see nothing about consequences.

Dodger
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Re: Mandatory health insurance

Post by Dodger » Fri May 17, 2019 1:32 pm

I have a feeling this is going to effect any retiree living in Thailand on a one year visa regardless of what you call it, i.e. O Visa, O-A Visa, Retirement Visa, One Year Extension, etc. I think they want all retirees to have minimal health care insurance going forward. At least that's my read on this, which admittedly, isn't worth a plug nickle considering the way they develop and communicate policy changes here in the Land of Oz.

fountainhall
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Re: Mandatory health insurance

Post by fountainhall » Fri May 17, 2019 2:20 pm

There still remains the unanswered questions:

1. how do those on long stay visas obtain insurance at the levels proposed if they are over 60 or 65? My assumption which has been suggested before is that this could mean another large dollop of cash having to be placed in an account which can only be used for medical purposes and then topped up each year. That will surely mean another exodus of expats.

2. how do they solve the problem of exclusions and deductibles?

I also find the amounts odd. Older people are more likely to suffer from conditions requiring more expensive invasive procedures. Some cancers will be a long-term on-going cost. A stroke with the possibility of the patient recovering some functions will cost way more than 400,000. And open heart bypass surgery with all the bells and whistles would come to more than 1 million.

But then T!T!

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Gaybutton
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Re: Mandatory health insurance

Post by Gaybutton » Fri May 17, 2019 2:35 pm

fountainhall wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:20 pm
There still remains the unanswered questions
My guess is they want people to at least have something. This whole thing makes zero sense to me based on the way they're doing it, especially if they don't get the Thai companies to insure people no matter what their age is.

Dodger
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Re: Mandatory health insurance

Post by Dodger » Fri May 17, 2019 5:07 pm

fountainhall wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:20 pm
how do those on long stay visas obtain insurance at the levels proposed if they are over 60 or 65? My assumption which has been suggested before is that this could mean another large dollop of cash having to be placed in an account which can only be used for medical purposes and then topped up each year.
Valid question.

Honestly, after watching how Immigration is handling the new retirement visa requirements I have to assume that they'll follow the same protocol and simply ask for a copy of your insurance policy showing that the minimum coverage for in-patient and out-patient costs are included in the policy, and that the policy is current. I really doubt that they'd apply more scrutiny related to details like policy exclusions (pre-existing conditions), deductible levels, etc. Same as the visa bullshit - they simply don't have the capabilities to perform this type of review and won't bother with it. It would kind of make sense that they would want to see enough funds in the bank to cover the policy "deductible" in the event that the policy had to be used, but I just don't think they're going there. I hope I'm right...but could be flat ass wrong.

Pacific Cross will cover people over 65. You have to take a physical exam where any pre-existing conditions are identified and then excluded from policy coverage. The only way to get a low cost policy (3,000 - 4,000 THB/month) is to take the high deductible of either 100,000 or 200,000 THB. This would meet the Immigration requirements but it sucks because my guess is that >90% of all health insurance claims in Thailand are under 100.000 THB.

I'll be happy if they accept the option to "self insure" and simply require proof that adequate funds are in the bank to cover the 400,000/in-patient & 40,000 out-patient. This would at least give people the option.

I'm not budging on this until after the dust settles and the left hand knows what the right hand is doing. My nickel bet is that we will be seeing Thai insurance companies offering low cost policies for the over 65 population which meet the bare minimum requirements pretty soon. The Thais know full-well that a large percentage of retirees over here are over 65 and this now presents a significant market opportunity.

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Gaybutton
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Re: Mandatory health insurance

Post by Gaybutton » Sun May 19, 2019 10:11 am

Dodger wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 5:07 pm
I'll be happy if they accept the option to "self insure" and simply require proof that adequate funds are in the bank
So will I. I'm among those who have excellent inpatient insurance, but opted out of outpatient insurance since those fees are inexpensive at even the most expensive hospitals and I pay out-of-pocket. It would cost more than it's worth to add outpatient coverage now, if Cigna Global even lets me, at the most minimal coverage with the highest deductible.

I prefer to open a new Thai bank account, deposit 40,000 baht into it, let it sit there, bring along receipts for outpatient care that I've paid for, and try to convince immigration that I am self-insured for outpatient if immigration gets around to us - and I think sooner or later they will.

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?

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