Expats overwhelmingly support mandatory health insurance of over 50s: Poll
Expats in Thailand say they support plans that require foreigners aged over 50 to have mandatory health insurance when applying for a Non-Immigrant Visa OA.
The plans were approved by Cabinet in April, and revealed on Monday by Health Service Support Department director-general Nattawuth Prasert-siripong.
According to a straw poll on the Thaivisa Facebook page, which at the time of publishing had received 2.5k votes, 69 percent of respondents voted ‘Yes’ when asked “do you think foreigners aged over 50 should be required to have health insurance in order to stay in Thailand?”
Many of those commenting voiced their support at the move.
Laura Saffy Bates said: Everybody should have travel health insurance to protect themselves on overseas holidays
Jase Darbs: I agree that health insurance should be compulsory. But I’d suggest that short term tourists who have accidents and then leave the country without paying bills, are much more of a drain on the Thai medical system than what long term expats are?
Kristjan Árnason: Everybody should have health insurance while staying in Thailand (living or traveling). It should be mandatory and checked on arrival in Thailand.
Robert McGuigan: If I was living in Australia I would have private health insurance, so now I live in Thailand and I have private health insurance. Just hope I don’t need it!
John Koenig: I think all visitors should have a health plan peroid (sic). I never leave Australia without one
Allan Kortsen: I welcome the mandatory health insurance..Was about time. Nobody should be without an insurance. You don't need to get an insurance in Thailand. An insurance in Europe will do as well.
Edwin Echevarria Gonzalez was less supportive saying: I have medical insurance but it is not accepted in Thailand. It is just another ploy to fleece more money from foreigners who want to retire in Thailand. Already made preparations to retire in the Philippines, so much easier.
While it is not clear when the new requirement will come into effect, those foreigners applying for a Non-Immigrant Visa OA will need to have a valid health insurance policy bought in Thailand or from overseas.
The insurance policy must offer up to Bt40,000 coverage for outpatient treatment and up to Bt400,000 for inpatient treatment, the Nation reported on Tuesday.
The measures have been introduced to help ease the burden of foreigners not paying for medical treatment they have received in state hospitals.
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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