Author Topic: Insurance mandatory for long-stay foreigners  (Read 1382 times)

Offline thaiga

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Insurance mandatory for long-stay foreigners
« on: May 14, 2019, 02:03:15 PM »
Insurance mandatory for long-stay foreigners

 HEALTH insurance has been made mandatory for foreigners aged 50 years and above seeking long-term stay in Thailand.

The insurance policy must offer up to Bt40,000 coverage for outpatient treatment and up to Bt400,000 for inpatient treatment.

This is one of the measures the government has introduced to ease the financial burden placed on state hospitals by foreigners, many of whom have not paid for treatment.

“The Cabinet has already approved the new rule,” Health Service Support Department director-general Nattawuth Prasert-siripong revealed yesterday.

According to Nattawuth, the new rule applies to both new applicants for the non-immigrant visa (O-A), which offers a stay of up to one year, and those wishing to renew their visa. Each renewal is valid for one year.

Overseas policies okay too

“Such health insurance is good for foreigners too,” Nattawuth said.

Foreigners can buy valid health insurance from longstay.tgia.org or if they wish to use health insurance that they bought overseas, they must ensure that the coverage amount is no less than what is required by the rule. “We are going to discuss with relevant authorities on to how to check the validity of health insurance bought from overseas,” Nattawuth said.

Asked about foreigners who cannot buy health insurance because their health risks are considered too high, Nattawuth said relevant authorities might consider requiring them to have higher deposits in bank accounts so as to make sure that they have enough to live in Thailand.

nationmultimedia.com
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Offline KiwiCanadian

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Re: Insurance mandatory for long-stay foreigners
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2019, 03:39:43 PM »
Is that just for the O-A? what about some one on a marriage visa with a yellow house book?

Offline thaiga

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Re: Insurance mandatory for long-stay foreigners
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2019, 03:57:09 PM »
The above post reads ( HEALTH insurance has been made mandatory for foreigners aged 50 years and above seeking long-term stay in Thailand.)

The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has announced that Cabinet has approved mandatory health insurance as a new requirement for all foreigners staying in the country on one-year Non-Immigrant O-A “visas”, or “permits-to-stay”. thephuketnews
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Offline Johnnie F.

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Re: Insurance mandatory for long-stay foreigners
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2019, 04:15:49 PM »
I've looked up the prices from Bangkok Insurance as example. Just one word: extortion! I guess those who can will rather go for a higher bank deposit. ...and others will go home!


Offline thaiga

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Re: Insurance mandatory for long-stay foreigners
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2019, 04:23:08 PM »
J/F higher bank deposit - you think that will happen

https://www.thaivivat.co.th/longstayvisaplan/
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Offline Johnnie F.

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Re: Insurance mandatory for long-stay foreigners
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2019, 04:31:19 PM »

J/F higher bank deposit - you think that will happen


Higher bank deposit or a much higher monthly pension or transfer from abroad to Thai bank account - for those without medical insurance.

It's far too early to say what, as the discussion has just started.

Offline thaiga

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Re: Insurance mandatory for long-stay foreigners
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2019, 06:22:18 PM »
Wonder what the age limit is @ pacificcross.com



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Offline Johnnie F.

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Re: Insurance mandatory for long-stay foreigners
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2019, 06:45:46 PM »
Wonder what the age limit is @ pacificcross.com

Depends upon the wallet. They don't charge for 90+ anymore.


Offline thaiga

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Re: Insurance mandatory for long-stay foreigners
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2019, 02:30:46 PM »
Taken from thaivisa.com

According to the announcement by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), it would appear the new requirements only apply to those seeking an Non-Immigrant Visa OA and not to foreigners over 50 who stay in Thailand on an extension of stay based on retirement.
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Offline Johnnie F.

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Re: Insurance mandatory for long-stay foreigners
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2019, 04:39:12 PM »
And what about those foreigners over 50 who (now) stay in Thailand on an extension of stay based on retirement, who had just entered with a Non-OA?

Excerpt from the Google translation of The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH):

Quote
In order to facilitate foreigners, Dr. Natthawut, Director-General of the Department of Sor Sor. Sor said that the criteria for making health insurance for foreigners who are applying for a visa are temporary. Non-Immigrant Visa O-A code (1 year period). Additional foreigners must have Thai health insurance coverage throughout the period of stay in Thailand.

The whole requirement isn't just fully cooked, yet
Quote
For those who are at higher risk for health than the insurance company can accept By private insurers offering a fixed deposit In order to have sufficient funds to live Medical treatment and others While staying in Thailand Which must be discussed with the Office of Immigration and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

I wonder how much "fixed deposit" they'll require from those who the private insurers will consider too high risk. The same for coverage as from those the insurers will accept as low or normal risk or a lot more according to the higher risk?

Offline thaiga

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

 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

Source:Department of Health Service Support

nationmultimedia.com
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Offline thaiga

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Farang insurance dilemmas building up

The news that all foreign tourists to Thailand will soon need to obtain travel insurance to enter the country is causing the usual confusion from leaked sources. 

Thai public sector hospitals have complained for many years that they are having to fund the medical costs of foreigners who need treatment and can produce neither the cash nor a valid insurance letter.  Estimates of the true costs vary but the total is probably in the region of three billion baht annually.

It seems that, from an unknown starting date, all tourists (likely defined as those able to stay between 15 days and three months before being required to leave) will need to show on arrival  a valid travel insurance document which has either been bought in advance or obtained at the airport or border post from a dispensing machine.  Travel insurance is not the same as full medical insurance and normally covers only matters such as delayed travel, loss of luggage and emergency treatment for accidents.  It does not cover pre-existing medical conditions.

Critics of the move point to a number of potential problems.  Does the new rule apply to every tourist including infants under one year and the elderly in their 80s and 90s as travel insurance often contains a cut-off age date?  Will the responsibility to enforce the regulation lie with the airline which will need to check the documentation?  Will there be long queues at immigration or custom counters as officers struggle to examine travel insurance papers which may not be written in Thai?  Will the proposals actually work in practice as many medical emergencies are not caused by accidents?  What about use of credit cards which often include the benefit of limited travel insurance as a perk for purchasing the air ticket on-line?

Travel sources say that the imponderables mean that any compulsory policy, if endorsed by the Thai Cabinet, will likely be delayed until next year. Government officials will be concerned lest a hasty start produces a deluge of bad publicity which will handicap the government’s stated aim of receiving 40 million foreign tourists annually in the next decade.  Several years ago, the Shinawatra government introduced an optional,  private-sector insurance scheme for tourists which had only limited success, partly because of poor marketing and weak support by hospitals.

Expats and holders of multiple non-immigrant visas are not covered by the recent announcement because travel insurance in this context obviously means visitors to Thailand and not those residing here as a base for long periods. Holders of one year extensions – retirees and those married to Thais in particular – are concerned that they may be required to hold full medical insurance at application or renewal time.  Last year, the government announced the possibility of introducing such a regulation – requiring an insurance claim payment of at least US20,000 – for in-patient care.  However, that prediction was linked to the possibility of a 10-year retirement visa which might (or might not) replace the current one year extension of stay.  Nothing further has yet been heard of these particular proposals.

One problem area in requiring retirees to produce full medical insurance is that older people find it very expensive to fund ongoing cover, or even impossible if they have serious health issues.  Some expats prefer to keep a sum of money here specifically to cover hospitalization.  In any case, private sector hospitals these days will not perform surgery without clear evidence of repayment by cash or by agreement of the insurer, if any.  One solution to this dilemma might be to insist on a larger cash deposit or proof of income at the application or the renewal  stage of a one year extension.  It should also be noted that, in the past, existing retirees were not required to abide by new financial regulations.  This discretion has been known as “grandfathering”.

The whole subject of visitors to Thailand and their insurance is now likely to loom large in immigration publicity for the foreseeable future.  But it is important to stress that there have yet not been any formal government announcements of policy changes.

Source: Pattaya Today

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Offline thaiga

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Re: Insurance mandatory for long-stay foreigners
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2019, 01:11:52 PM »
Part post from thephuketnews.com

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.

thephuketnews.com
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Online Taman Tun

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Re: Insurance mandatory for long-stay foreigners
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2019, 10:22:17 AM »
I wonder if an open return ticket to the UK would count as health insurance.  But, then again, I think free treatment in the UK is not available after you have been out of the country for a few years. 

Just found this in the DT from 2015. Pay 150% of cost of treatment:-
Expats from outside Europe who return to the UK to use NHS hospitals will be billed for 150 per cent of the cost of treatment if they don’t have sufficient insurance.
Treatment remains free for those with a European Health Insurance Card (Ehic) and UK state pensioners living in the European Economic Area (EEA).
The charges only apply to hospitals – appointments with GPs and accident and emergency treatment remain free. Patients should expect to be asked questions about their residence status in the UK.
The changes, which came into effect on April 6, affect British expats differently, depending on where they now live. They are part of a drive to save the NHS £500 million a year by 2017/18.
According to a department of health statement: “As is the case already, most people who live or work in another EEA country or Switzerland will continue to get free NHS care using an Ehic issued by the country they live in. This means the NHS can reclaim health care costs from the original country of residence.
“UK state pensioners who live elsewhere in the EEA will now have the same rights to NHS care as people who live in England. This applies to all pensioners who receive a UK state retirement pension and are registered for health care in Europe with an S1 form.”
A social security form S1 can be obtained from the Department for Work and Pensions or the health authority in your new European country.
• NHS axes free health care for expats
• NHS has funded ops for more than 600 Britons overseas
The statement added: “People who live elsewhere in the EEA or Switzerland who are not working and are under the UK retirement age should either use their Ehic, if they’re entitled to one, or make sure they have health insurance if they need NHS care when visiting England. Otherwise they will have to pay for their care.
"This includes former UK residents, and ensures that people who already live and work in the UK do not end up paying through their taxes for visitors who are not economically active.”
NHS hospitals will receive an extra 25 per cent on top of the cost of every procedure they perform for a patient with an Ehic.
People who live outside the EEA, including former UK residents, should make sure they are covered by health insurance, unless an exemption applies to them. Anyone who does not have insurance will be charged at 150 per cent of the NHS national tariff for any care they receive.
The NHS tariff price for a normal maternity birth is £2,188. For a major hip operation with an intermediate stay in hospital it is £7,826.
Some people are exempt from the charges – this includes diplomats, members of the Armed Forces and war pensioners. Former UK residents who return there to settle will be eligible for free NHS care immediately, according to the spokesman.
British expats living in some non-EEA countries, who get free hospital treatment in those countries thanks to a reciprocal agreement with the UK, will also be exempt from the charges. A full list is available on nhs.uk and examples include Barbados and New Zealand.
Financial penalties will be put in place for NHS trusts that fail to identify and bill chargeable patients.
Elaine Ferguson, head of the Resource Centre at the Overseas Guides Company, said: “This clamping down is an example of how the UK’s austerity measures are affecting expats. Times are changing and if you’re not a UK pensioner, you can no longer just nip back to the UK for free health care when it suits you – and this should be taken into consideration before relocating abroad.”
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Offline thaiga

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Is that just for the O-A? what about some one on a marriage visa with a yellow house book?
Hi KC, looks like were ok if this post from thaivisa is correct

So enjoy your trip to the UK  ;)


Thaivisa has today spoken with Prachuap Khiri Khan Immigration in a bid to try and clear up some confusion surrounding the recent announcement regarding mandatory health insurance for Non-Immigrant Visa O-A.

Prachuap Khiri Khan Immigration told Thaivisa that the new requirements only affect people seeking Non-Immigrant Visa O-A.

The requirement for mandatory health insurance does not affect those people who stay in Thailand on a Non O extension of stay based on retirement.

The requirement also does not apply to those staying in Thailand on a marriage extension or an extension of stay based on being a parent to a Thai child.

Prachuap Khiri Khan Immigration said they have had elderly foreigners visiting their office incorrectly believing they are affected by the new requirements.

Prachuap Khiri Khan Immigration stressed it is important for foreign retirees in Thailand to familiarise themselves with exactly what it says in their passport in order to determine if they stay in Thailand on an Non-Immigrant Visa O-A or an extension of stay based on retirement.

Many people, both foreigners and also immigration officials, use the term ‘retirement visa’ when what they are actually referring to is an ‘extension of stay based on retirement’.

It is this inaccuracy which has lead to some of the confusion.

 A Non-Immigrant Visa O-A is obtained from a Thai Embassy or Consulate in your home country, whereas an ‘extension of stay based on retirement’ is normally obtained from your local immigration office in Thailand.

For expats living in Hua Hin, anyone who is still unsure about what type of visa or extension they have are urged to contact Prachuap Khiri Khan Immigration at their office in Thap Thai, where officers will be happy to answer any questions.

Prachuap Khiri Khan Immigration also stressed to Thaivisa that retirees should not panic regarding the new measures, especially if you reside in Thailand on a Non O extension of stay based on retirement as the mandatory health insurance requirement does not affect you.

While it is yet to be confirmed, The Nation reported earlier that the new mandatory health insurance requirement for Non-Immigrant Visa O-A are likely to come into force from July onwards.
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Offline Johnnie F.

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Re: Insurance mandatory for long-stay foreigners
« Reply #15 on: Yesterday at 03:14:03 PM »
And what about those, who enter Thailand on a Non-OA visa and then get 1-yr-extension? Will they need insurance coverage only for that first year, when they entered Thailand? There's too much confusion still to understand what will be!

 



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