Mandatory Health Insurance for Expats in Thailand
Thailand has become a popular destination for expats to live, work, and retire. It is estimated that around 4 - 5 million foreigners are living in Thailand.1
Still, as anyone can get into accidents or sudden chronic health conditions (like strokes), it is essential to have health insurance despite the fact you are now totally fit and healthy.
Why is it important?
Healthcare in general, not only in Thailand, can be expensive. Without proper coverage, an unexpected medical emergency can affect your finances.
For expats, having health insurance provides assurance that they have access to quality healthcare without having to worry about the costs compared to those without one.
How is it different from travel insurance?
Travel insurance provides coverage for short-term trips. It typically covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and other travel-related issues.
Meanwhile, health insurance for expats are designed for long-term coverage for medical expenses, including hospitalisation, doctor's visits, and prescription medications.
This is why choosing travel insurance wouldn’t be sufficient for expat workers.
Mandatory Health Insurance Types
To make it easy for expats in Thailand, we have broken down types of insurance expats might need for full coverage and assurance while working their best in Thailand.
Public Thailand health insurance
The public health insurance system in Thailand is managed by the National Health Security Office (NHSO), which provides coverage to all citizens and permanent residents of Thailand.
Another way to access Thai public insurance is through Thai social security.
Typically, employers and employees in Thailand contribute to the Thai Social Security system, with the employer responsible for 5% and the employee for 5% of the employee's salary (not exceeding 750 THB or around 21-22 USD).
Thai Social Security VS Public Thai health insurance
Public Thai health insurance and Thai Social Security are not exactly the same thing, although they are related.
Public Thai health insurance is provided by the Thai government to its citizens and permanent residents.
On the other hand, Thai Social Security is a program that provides social security benefits to Thai workers. This includes health insurance coverage for workers and their dependents.
The health insurance coverage provided by Thai Social Security is more limited than that provided by public Thai health insurance. For example, Thai Social Security may not cover all medical expenses or provide access to all hospitals and clinics.
Therefore, some expats may need to supplement it with private health insurance.
Private health insurance
Private health insurance is typically offered by private insurance companies, and the coverage and premiums can vary depending on the policy.
For expats living in Thailand, private health insurance can provide access to high-quality healthcare services, including private hospitals and clinics.
One of the benefits of private health insurance is that it can provide faster access to medical treatment and diagnostic tests than public health insurance or the Thai Social Security System.
Another key benefit of private health insurance is that it can provide access to specialised medical care and treatment, such as cancer treatment or fertility treatments.
International Health Insurance
International health insurance is typically more expensive than domestic health insurance policies, but it provides coverage tailored to the unique needs of individuals who are travelling or living abroad.
This type of insurance is a highly beneficial form of protection for expats, digital nomads, and other individuals who spend extended periods outside their home country and need reliable medical coverage.
In most cases for international health insurance, you can use a range of payment methods, including bank transfers, credit or debit cards, and electronic payment platforms, to pay for your premiums.
One easy and simple way to pay for your insurance is through using money transfer apps, where you can transfer money digitally within one tap.
We help expats to make their life in Thailand more convenient through our DeeMoney Neo application. You can always make international money transfers on the go with our user-friendly interface and fast service.
Do I Need a COVID-19 Insurance?
According to the Thai Embassy, from 2023, travellers entering Thailand are required to have a proof of COVID-19 test and also an COVID-19 insurance plan covers a minimum of $10,000.2
As we learnt that travel insurance and expats’ insurance are not exactly the same, this may raise a question if this type of insurance is needed for expats.
The short answer is yes. For expats, your insurance must at least state that it also covers COVID-19. Expats with work permits, on the other hand, can substitute a valid social security card or a certified letter from their employer for a health insurance plan.3
For assurance, you can contact the Office Of Insurance Commission (OIC) in Thailand for Thai insurance regulations or your visa consultant.
Costs - How Much Do You Pay for Thai Insurance?
The cost of health insurance depends on various factors, such as age, health condition, and coverage.
Private health insurance policies are typically more expensive than public health insurance, and international health insurance can be even more costly.
List of Factors that Affect the Cost:
- Age: like most countries, the older a person is, the higher they may have to pay.
- Health condition: existing or a history of health issues could make the price higher.
- Coverage: plans with higher coverage limits and benefits usually cost more.
Wrap It Up
In conclusion, having health insurance is definitely crucial for expats living in Thailand. It provides peace of mind and access to quality healthcare without worrying about the costs.
You can choose from various types of health insurance, depending on their needs and budget. It is also essential to understand the coverage of each policy and choose the one that best suits your needs.
Apart from health insurance, another crucial topic for expats to consider is how to transfer money back to your home country.
Even though you are living abroad, there might be urgent cases that you need international money transfer services, such as, medical emergencies or family emergencies.
That’s where DeeMoney can help you.
With our DeeMoney Neo app, you can send money simply within one tap with better rates and a faster & easier process. So that you can save your time and money doing things that help you grow.
Try DeeMoney Neo today for a healthier financial life!