Insurance for Expats in Thailand
The official name of Thailand is Kingdom of Thailand. In Thai language, it’s called Prathet Thai. The country was known as “Siam” and then it was changed to the current name, “Prathet Thai”, or “Thailand”.
Today, Thailand is home to expats from around the world who live there working in a host of industries. Thailand is now a premier choice for a large number of retirees who wish to spend their days in warmer climates. With its vibrant culture, picturesque landscapes, and economic opportunities, Thailand beckons expats from around the world. However, while embarking on this exciting journey, one must not overlook the importance of securing insurance for expats in Thailand to ensure a seamless and worry-free stay.
Health insurance in Thailand
In accordance with the website Visa Guide World, Thailand is one of the top six countries with the best medical care for expatriates in 2023. While Thailand boasts a well-developed healthcare infrastructure, the system might differ from what you are accustomed to in your home country. Expats often choose to invest in medical insurance in Thailand to ensure they receive top-notch medical care without bearing the exorbitant costs.
Before moving to Thailand, most expatriates will need to obtain a visa from the Thai embassy in their country of residence. There are several types of visas for foreigners depending on your profile and the reason for your stay; work, retirement, study, or family reasons. Thailand non-immigrant visas follow categories B, O, ED, OA, IB; LTR; and SMART.
Since September 2022, a five-year long-term resident visa (LTR) renewable once is available for five categories of applicants, including digital nomads and ‘Wealthy Global Citizens’. For more information, please apply directly to the Thai embassy located in your country of residence.
Before relocating to Thailand, expat health insurance is an important topic to research.
Hospitals in Thailand
Thailand is home to both public and private hospitals, both of which are open to expatriates. Thailand citizens are granted free healthcare from the government through public hospitals, meaning these can be overcrowded and have limited resources.
The private healthcare system in Thailand is respectable and affordable, making it often a hot destination for “medical tourism”.
There are excellent international hospitals in Bangkok, but hospitals and clinics outside the main urban areas are not always up to Western standards. Many hospitals require guarantee of payment for bills, which can be expensive and may delay treatment. To avoid such problems, private health insurance is strongly recommended. Health insurance in Thailand designed specifically for expats provides a safety net that covers a range of medical expenses. From routine check-ups to unforeseen medical emergencies, having comprehensive coverage grants you peace of mind. This is particularly significant considering that medical costs can escalate rapidly, especially if specialized treatments or hospitalizations are required.
A national health insurance system, the Universal Coverage Scheme (UCS) offers free public healthcare through the Ministry of Public Health. Expats working in Thailand are covered by the UCS and their contribution to the scheme is deducted from their salary. Once enrolled in the system, new arrivals are assigned to hospitals where they will receive treatment. Expats are allowed to use public hospitals and will have to pay for services provided upfront regardless of their health insurance in Thailand.
Private hospitals have better access to medication and equipment, but, certainly, cost more. These are more often the destination of expatriates as the process is more Western-style and many staff members and doctors speak English.
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Malaria is a risk in areas of Thailand near the Burmese border. Before entering these areas, take an anti-malarial drug prescribed by your doctor and protect yourself against bites by applying DEET-based repellant and wearing long sleeves and pants. Follow the same precautions to guard yourself against Dengue fever, a virus spread by mosquitoes that can be fatal. There is no vaccination available for this virus, which poses the strongest risk during the rainy season (May to October).
In light of the potential health risks and the substandard public health system in Thailand, it is essential for expatriates to obtain private health insurance in Thailand. The majority of expats prefer private healthcare for many reasons:
Pros of Private Insurance in Thailand
- The quality of care and facilities are usually better,
- A wider selection of hospitals to choose from
- Shorter waiting times
- More English-speaking staff.
- As private hospitals often require proof of funds if a patient is not insured, those without international health insurance may face delays in receiving treatment. With expat private health insurance, you gain the privilege of selecting from a plethora of private healthcare providers as well, tailoring your healthcare experience according to your preferences and needs.
i-Brokers provides the experience and knowledge needed to ensure that you find the high-quality coverage you require and have access to the best possible treatment – whenever and wherever it’s necessary. Get a quote for your medical insurance in under 5 seconds here.
Travel insurance Thailand
Expats embarking on their journey to Thailand can opt for various types of insurance to safeguard their well-being and future. Travel insurance in Thailand is a crucial companion for those with a penchant for exploration. Whether you’re trekking through lush rainforests or visiting serene temples, travel insurance ensures that unforeseen events such as trip cancellations, flight delays, or lost luggage do not disrupt your plans or financial stability. Known primarily for its famous Full Moon parties on the beach and being the top gap year and backpacker destination of the last few years, Thailand has more to offer than neon paint and grass skirts.
The ‘Land of Smiles’ isn’t named such for nothing, as the people in Thailand are often said to be some of the friendliest and most accommodating in the world. This, along with some of the most scenic beaches, and incredible Buddhist architecture, fantastic cuisine and budget prices make Thailand one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world.
Wherever your trip to Thailand takes you, having a great travel insurance policy can give you the peace of mind to enjoy yourself without thinking of the ‘what ifs’. Get a quote for your travel insurance conveniently here.
With i-Brokers, you have the opportunity to choose your own policy which fits your needs and budget, allowing you to tailor your travel insurance to your budget. Here’s a guide on how to buy travel insurance online.
Popular benefits for travel cover in Thailand include:
- Medical Cover
- Accident Cover
- Adventure sports, like scuba diving
- Flight cancelations
Theft of personal belongings
Remember to purchase travel insurance when travelling in Thailand. Read the fine print for any policy to know what’s covered, what isn’t and what to do in the event of an emergency
Life Insurance Thailand
Expat life insurance in Thailand is something that everyone with a young family should look at. It is often the case that the main income generator for expat families in Thailand is one person so the impact on the family should a death occur to this person is potentially catastrophic. Life insurance in Thailand offers a layer of protection that transcends borders and ensures that your family legacy remains intact, no matter where life’s journey takes you.
Life insurance in Thailand can allow you to cherish your years more easily without the stress brought on worrying about what will happen to your loved ones after your death. Life Insurance in Thailand will bring additional peace of mind as you take on a new life with new challenges to face. One of the remarkable aspects of expat life insurance is its global coverage. Your policy isn’t confined to Thailand; it travels with you wherever you go. This feature holds immense value for those whose lives are characterized by mobility, as it guarantees that your loved ones are shielded from financial hardships, regardless of your location.