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Over 50s without health insurance are haemorrhaging 500 million baht a year of the country’s money, according to the Thai government. Although this is old news, as it was announced in May, the deadline is on the horizon. From the end of October 2019, expats over 50 must present proof of health insurance upon entering the country or face deportation.
If you missed out on the announcement in May or need a reminder this only affects those applying for a Non-Immigrant Visa OA. According to official sources, the OA Visa “may be issued to applicants aged 50 years and over who wish to stay in Thailand for a period of not exceeding 1 year without the intention of working. Holder of this type of visa is allowed to stay in Thailand for 1 year.”
According to deputy public health minister, Sathit Pitutecha, only about 80,000 people hold an OA Visa. Requirements for an OA Visa include a 65k baht monthly income and over 800k baht in bank account.
Foreigners also pay more for Thai hospital care. Since September Thai hospitals have introduced a two-tiered pricing system that charges based on your visa status. The policy divides foreigners into three groups: those from Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam; workers and students; and retirees and students. The groups are ordered by increasing cost of treatment, the latter group being charged double the cost of locals.
This two-tiered pricing system affects costs of pharmaceutical products, radiotherapy, physical evaluations, dentistry, anaesthesia, and traditional and alternative medicines.
Combined with the surging baht and two-tiered hospital pricing system, this news will inevitably drive some expats out of the country, especially retirees who need to purchase health insurance because they’re not covered by an employer. If you’re on an extension of stay based on retirement then you don’t need to worry; this only affects those dependent upon an OA Visa.
Fortunately, there may be options other than buying expensive health insurance coverage.
DeeMoney, Thailand’s money transfer service and currency exchange, offers free AXA life insurance to anyone who sends money monthly. Scroll to the bottom of the article for more information about this specific offer or read more here.
DeeMoney is currently discussing the possibility of extending its personal accident insurance promotion with AXA to also cover health insurance. It’s not 100% confirmed yet what the criteria for eligibility for this promotion will be but if it’s similar to the health insurance promotion it will involve frequent monthly transfers to stay within the coverage.
If you’re already registered with DeeMoney and are interested in the current AXA promotion you can register here. For registered members, activation of the promotion requires a transfer of any amount but the coverage comes into two tiers based on whether you transfer over 50k baht or not. If you haven’t yet registered with DeeMoney you can do so here.
Either way both tiers cover loss of life, dismemberment, loss of sight or permanent disability due to accident for riding or travelling as a passenger on a motorcycle. This promotion is ideal for those who perform risky manual labour and are uncovered by personal accident insurance.
Further details on DeeMoney’s current AXA personal accident cover promotion is available below:
Under the terms and conditions:
- Customer must register to participate in the program
- Free cover starts from the first of next month after transfer is completed
- Subject to terms and conditions of AXA Insurance PCL. For full coverage and exclusions, please read the policy wording
- Insured age 1-70 years
- Insurance protection underwritten by AXA Insurance PCL
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