The US Embassy has added to concerns that the Thai authorities are gearing up to requiring expats to get health insurance.
The US Embassy has just issued an advisory:
Thailand remains one of the most popular retirement destinations in the world. Great culture; great food; great people. And as US citizens age, Thailand also offers access to excellent health care, provided at world-class private hospitals by
internationally trained doctors. But you need to be able to afford it.
Sadly, we at the Embassy in Bangkok have seen many instances where US citizens discover, too late, that essential, high-quality health care is out of financial reach and their options are limited. As you contemplate your own preparedness, we
urge you to plan for a few key expenses: medical treatment, nursing care, and, if necessary, medical evacuation.
The Nation newspaper will stop its print editions and go fully online from July 1, when the independent English-language daily turns 48.
Somchai Meesen, chief executive officer of Nation Multimedia Group Plc (NMG), said the decision by the management was aimed at halting The Nation's financial losses, in addition to expanding its market.
Over the past five years, The Nation has lost Bt30 million a year on average, he said.
The CEO, citing a survey, pointed out that only 36% of The Nation's readers are based in Thailand while the remaining 64% live overseas, including 25% in the United States. He said that meant most of the newspaper's readers did not buy its paper
editions, and they read its reports and articles from the website and through different digital platforms.
Health insurance has been made mandatory for foreigners aged 50 years and above seeking long-term stay in Thailand.
An acceptabe insurance policy must offer up to Bt40,000 coverage for outpatient treatment and up to Bt400,000 for inpatient treatment.
The Cabinet has already approved the new rule, Health Service Support Department director-general Nattawuth Prasert-siripong revealed yesterday. According to Nattawuth, the new rule applies to both new applicants for the non-immigrant visa (O-A),
which offers a stay of up to one year, and those wishing to renew their visa. Each renewal is valid for one year. He added:
Foreigners can buy valid health insurance from longstay.tgia.org or if they wish to use health insurance that they bought overseas, they must ensure that the coverage amount is no less than what is required by the rule. We are going to discuss
with relevant authorities on to how to check the validity of health insurance bought from overseas
Asked about foreigners who cannot buy health insurance because their health risks are considered too high, Nattawuth said relevant authorities might consider requiring them to have higher deposits in bank accounts so as to make sure that they
have enough to live in Thailand.
Forum comments suggest that a rough ballpark figure for this level of cover costs about 50,000 Baht a year for 50 year olds, 100,000 Baht a year for 60 year olds, and is not even available for 70 year olds.