A number of Thai and international companies offer a wide range of health insurance packages. You can get maximum health coverage for much lower costs in Thailand than in many other developed countries. These low costs are also attracting medical tourists to Thailand.
International health insurance in Thailand
Most international insurance companies do not have offices in Thailand but will cover you in Thailand for a reduced premium. The insurance coverage is only valid in Thailand, and if you travel to your home country, you will not be covered. For trips abroad, you should buy additional travel insurance. If you travel a lot, you should buy international insurance which is valid in most countries.
What to consider when looking for insurance policies
When shopping for insurance policies, pay attention to the exclusion list and pre existing health problems that are not accepted. There is a standard average price of premiums in Thailand that vary between age groups. If you do not make a claim, the price of the premiums will either decrease or you will be rewarded in some form.
In general, you can choose between different insurance packages depending on what kind of coverage you need. It is important to bear in mind, the difference between out-patient coverage and in-patient coverage. Out-patient coverage is less expensive and means you are treated in hospital, then discharged and you take your medicine home. In-patient treatment is more expensive and involves a stay in the hospital for surgery or observation.
Out-patient coverage is usually broken up into different levels. For instance, you can upgrade your out-patient coverage to include major illnesses, accidents or disability (therefore you can stay in the hospital in these cases). Many people choose the out-patient option with additional coverage, which is still less expensive than the in-patient option. Health insurance companies will however always try to convince you to buy the in-patient option.
When filling out your application form, you must be completely honest about your health history to avoid any claims being denied later on. Like every insurance company world-over, pre-existing health problems are not covered. It is recommended that you have a full physical exam before applying.
National health insurance companies in Thailand
There are national Thai health insurance companies which are available for foreigners and mean you are covered in Thailand only. Be aware however, that due to Thai law, Thai national health insurance providers can refuse to renew your health insurance policy (in many western countries, if you pay your premiums on time, your insurance policy must be renewed).