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Health insurance in Thailand for expats is not a luxury, it is not an option, it is essential.
No matter where you are in the country the standards and costs of healthcare and medical facilities can vary enormously. Any long-term expat in the kingdom will have at least one horror story to share about medical expenses.
Thailand is an increasingly popular ‘medical tourism’ destination so it goes without saying that high standards of care are available. These high standards come with a price tag and none of these private hospitals are obliged to provide charitable services. Without health insurance in Thailand or some measure of proof that the bills will be paid, even the most serious cases may quickly find themselves transferred to a public facility or, at the very least, passports being held as security.
Having no health insurance is an unnecessary risk but not having sufficient or suitable health insurance in Thailand can be just as problematic. Only last month, the English language media in Thailand ran a story following the unfortunate situation of a young tourist from New Zealand. Sean Kenzie found himself stranded in a public hospital for a month with a broken jaw, broken ribs, a split liver and punctured lungs. His travel insurance did not cover motorcycle accidents so he was left with no health cover. Unable to pay the bills at a private hospital, Mr Kenzie had to move to a public hospital. Eventually, a $53,000 anonymous donation enabled his repatriation to New Zealand but he is still left with an additional $12,000 of outstanding hospital bills in Thailand.
Stories of this nature are not as unusual as you would expect and appeals for donations to help foreigners in medical difficulties appear with alarming frequency.
As an expat working in Thailand, medical cover may be one of the employment benefits, but it is still important to review the policy to be certain that the cover is sufficient for each individual’s circumstances. An unfortunate illness or incident can very quickly make a serious dent in that expat income and could risk a significant portion of the savings that expats should be enjoying.
A local policy may be sufficient health insurance in Thailand, but what happens when on a business trip or holiday out of the country? It is vital to be aware of the limitations of any health insurance policy and to plan for additional or alternative cover if and when required.
At Infinity, many of us are expats and we are fully aware of the need for health insurance to protect ourselves and our families. We have partnerships with leading international insurers but we remain independent – not tied to any product provider. We can help you to choose the best plan at the best price to meet your needs and budget for health insurance in Thailand. Tell us what your requirements are and we will provide you with independent advice, comparisons and ongoing support with no additional costs to your premiums.
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