The table below provides a snapshot of the cover available from the top 6 international medical insurers.
Please bear in mind that the type of cover, level of cover and excess is dependent on the plan and the option.
Clicking on ‘get a quote' will take you directly to the site of the insurer.
Silver, Gold and Platinum with optional modules.
Global Select/Fusion/Hopper, Patriot America (Silver, Gold, Gold Plus, Platinum).
Essential Care, Essential Care Plus, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Elite Plan.
Core, Core M1, Core M1 and M2,Core M1, M2 and M3.
Standard, Comprehensive, Prestige and Prestige Plus.
First Class Plus, First Class Business Class and Visa Economy.
$1,000,000 to $3,000,000 per year.
$5,000,000 to $8,000,00 lifetime per individual.
Bronze: $1,500,000 Silver: $2,500,000 Gold: $4,500,000.
Annual maximum: GBP 1,000,000.
$1,200,000 to $4,800,000.
$1,000 to $7,500,000.
All nationalities, all ages.
U.S. and non U.S. citizens up to age 74.
All nationalities, all ages, as long as you sign up prior to age 70.
No minimum entry age. Max age is 79.
All nationalities, ages 18-70.
Minimum age of 6 weeks to a maximum of 75 years. Children under 7 must be insured by an adult who is also insured under the same policy.
Worldwide or worldwide excluding the U.S.
Worldwide excluding China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Singapore & Taiwan.
Worldwide, but you can exclude U.S. to save money.
Worldwide, or you can exclude the U.S.
Treatment area limit option is not available to residents in Singapore.
Up to 3 months of home country coverage.
12 months. Up to 6 months for U.S. citizens.
Bronze only if post-hospital treatment. Silver and Gold both covered.
Included but not in Standard Plan.
Included (routine health checks, vaccinations, etc.)
Covered on all plans except Bronze. Better plan equates to higher allowance.
Not in Bronze. Included in Silver and Gold.
Can include; depends on plan selected.
Included, but not in Standard Plan.
Semi-private or private rooms, depending on plan.
Included: semi-private and private rooms.
Included in all plans; amount depends on plan.
Hospital cash allowance $750.00 to $1,000; depends on plan chosen.
Paid in full
Included in Silver and Gold plans only.
Accidental included in all plans. Additional services have 3-24 month coverage waiting period.
Full cover, with some excess depending on plan option.
Routine dental treatment (6 month continuous policy waiting period) in Gold only. In-patient emergency restorative dental treatment included. Out-patient emergency dental treatment. depends on plan.
Accident-related dental treatment; Dental treatment that is required in hospital after a serious accident is paid in full; can include dental and vision in add on modules
Included in Prestige Plus only.Comprehensive and Essential will pay for dental treatment due to accidental cause and TCM treatment.
Excluded (except as necessitated by accidental injuries to sound and natural teeth).
Included at 100% for Platinum plan, limits on other plans.
Check-ups and materials covered under most plans.
Can include vision in add on modules
Included in Comprehensive, Prestige and Prestige Plus.
To be reviewed pending results of underwriting; certain special exclusions may be added to your plan.
Included in Silver-Platinum. Platinum provides full cover, otherwise, approx $5,000 per period of coverage up to a $50,000 life-time maximum after 24 months continuous coverage.
May cover depending on circumstances.
There are options to cover pre-existing conditions.
10 month cover wait period. Different coverage for Bronze, Gold and Silver.
Included in Platinum Plan, otherwise, an optional add-on is available.
Included in all plans except Essential Care; Coverage depends on plan.
Maternity may be available depending on plan; a 12 month cover waiting period applies.
Included in Prestige and Prestige Plus only.
100% paid for Platinum, $10,000 Gold, $5,000 Silver.
Covered under Gold, Plus & Platinum on Global Select/Fusion after 12 months continuous cover.
Covered under the Elite plan only, not the essential plan. 24-month continuous cover required.
Not covered under Core plan but is covered under Core Cover & M1, Core Cover M1 and M2; and Core Cover M1, M2 and M3.
Not included in Standard plan.
Paid in full.
Included. Coverage amount depends on plan.
Included all plans.
100% Must be pre-approved by Bupa Global.
Included all plans.
$0 -$10,000 depending on the plan.
$100 to $10,000, 50% waived within PPO network.
Depends on plan.
Depends on plan.
Depends on plan.
Depends on plan
Before age 65. After 65, up to age 74/79/or no restriction depending on plan.
Lifetime renewable as long as you join prior to age 70.
14-day money back guarantee.
15-day free look period with full refund.
30-day money back guarantee.
One month’s prior notice.
100% of the trip cost.
14-day free look with full refund
Available or Cigna will help find a provider.
Your choice of doctors or use of PPO.
Your choice depending on plan.
Your doctor of choice within network.
Your doctor of choice within network.
Available or Pacific Cross will help you find a provider
IEMAS International Medical Assistance Service
Allianz Group and AGF underwrites its Global plans.
American Modern Home Insurance Company.
A (A.M. Best)
A (A.M. Best)
AA (Standard and Poor)
B++ (A.M. Best)
A (A.M. Best)
A+ – BBB Rating System
Good international plan for individuals living abroad. Senior-friendly. Flexible plans help lower costs on non-essential cover items, but deductible can be high on lower plans & country coverage is weaker than top competitors.
High industry rating and renowned for good customer service/paying out. Flexible plans for all ages, singles and families. Available worldwide. Recommended option for expats seeking cover when in their home country too. US Coverage included .
Renowned for Good customer service and reliable payouts. Good option for expats (not over 70), though international health insurance plans do not provide cover in the USA.
Excellent on best plans, average on lower plans. Somewhat expensive with ad-ons and home country coverage. Trusted brand reputation.
Simplistic cover . Two plans available: IPMI International private medical insurance, or travel insurance. IPMI offers better coverage for medical. Doctor’s visits and wellness checkups not included as standard.
Worldwide health insurance cover with lots of exclusions except on the most expensive plans. Largely targeted at those with residency in Thailand who travel<./p>
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So you've compared the policies of the top companies, but before you choose a plan, let's be clear on what international health insurance in Thailand really means.
First up, it isn't travel insurance. If you need that, go here.
This is comprehensive medical cover for expats, and for those who work from country to country.
It differs in that the policies provide better cover, not the measly amounts offered by local insurance, which might be okay for local cover, but not for the top hospitals with the best medical care, and certainly not for when visiting other countries where medical costs are higher, or when visiting your home country.
International medical insurance in Thailand provides broad, continuous cover, and flexibility on aspects such as returning home for considerable periods of time, and specific health conditions.
Why All Expats On Long-Stay Will Need Health Insurance
You may have heard the rumblings recently regarding a new rule set to come in this July (2019).
All foreigners, aged 50 and above, living in Thailand on a long-stay visa will have to buy health insurance.
The new regulation will require expats on the long-stay Non-Immigrant O-A visa (retirement) to have health insurance that provides 40,000 THB coverage for outpatient treatment and 400,000 THB for inpatient.
The reason for this is quite simple: the treasury claim that in 2018 foreigners racked up 308 million Baht in unpaid medical bills. So going forward those with a long-stay visa will have to produce proof of their health insurance for their visa renewal.
Aside from this forthcoming mandatory requirement, let's face it, you really should have great cover anyway.
Get a quote using the companies in the table listed above. For the record, I'm with Cigna.
So let's get to grips with the policy cover that make for a good health insurance plan in Thailand – for you personally.
By this I mean that not everyone has the same requirements. You don't want to pay for inclusions you don't need, but similarly you don't want to shortchange yourself and end up not covered should the worst happen.
So let's start with the top ten key considerations when choosing a policy.
10 ‘Must Consider' Points When Choosing International Health Insurance
1. Company Reputation
This is arguably the most important consideration. You don't want to get ripped off, period. So it is best to go with a bigger company with a proven track record of coverage, rather than one with dirt-cheap rates and a handful of dubious personal testimonies.
2. Customer Service
You need your questions answered without any – excuse me – bullsh**. You don't want to get passed from department to department and get a “we'll call you back” when something critical has happened.
The company needs to be available for you when you need them. And you want staff to be professional and understanding of your needs.
You need multilingual (English-speaking) advisers offering 24/7 support.
You want action taken quickly. You want staff to be able to quickly comprehend what your situation is and understand the appropriate action required. You want a company that will allow a friend or family member to call on your behalf if you are unable to.
Some companies are better than others at customer service. So make sure you choose a company that can meet your needs. Yes, this usually does mean paying that bit more.
propose a risk. A passion for tobacco, alcohol or recreational drugs could drive up your premium. Consider giving up before you get a quote 🙂
3. Your Lifestyle/Habits
Hey, we all have vices. Life is indeed more pleasurable with them. But try telling the insurance guys you smoke two packs and drink a bottle of whiskey a day … hmmmm.
When they find out, these pleasures will drive up the cost of your premium.
In the game of insurance, your personal habits, which could cause potential health hazards, are instrumental in the amount you will pay. So it might be wise to kick the smokes and bring down those monthly payments.
4. Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
Bad ticker? Had an accident you've had to claim insurance for previously?
Maybe there's an outside risk of spontaneous combustion that runs in the family since your great-great-great grandfather had a curse placed on him in Victorian times!
Of course, age always drives up a premium, and ill-health comes with age. You might be very healthy, which will lower your premium, but you will pay more the older you get because insurance companies fear frequent, expensive claims.
Ongoing conditions will drive up your premium. Consider pre-existing conditions when choosing a policy, and make comparisons on this basis if you think you could be a liability.
5. How Claims Will Be Handled
You need to cover your bill at the hospital immediately. You've just crocked your ankle on a bad pavement in Bangkok (a common occurrence for the unwary). You're on the phone trying to make your claim and it feels like you need to hire a secretary with all the documents that want emailed over.
We have all heard horror stories of insurance companies not paying claims in Thailand. So a big part of choosing the right policy is being able to get your help when you need it. That's why it's called insurance, doh!
Choose a company that handles claims in an effortless manner, no matter where you are. That means being able to call at 3 am from Nakhon Nowhere and get the thumbs up to have that leg seen to. Again, comparisons are important here.
6. Hospital Inclusion: Inpatient/Outpatient Care
There are a number of scenarios that can play out if you have an accident or become ill. You might like to consider what the most likely ones are.
How often have you been in hospital over the last decade? Are you more likely to have an accident that requires outpatient care than becoming ill that requires inpatient care.
This will help you decide on the level of coverage.
I'll never forget the first week my brother visited me in Thailand he cut his finger really badly while washing up. He is super healthy an unlikely to get so ill he needs to be hospitalized, but on this occasion he required some hefty outpatient care.
While we never plan on having an accident, it is always better to err on the side of caution in terms of hospital coverage. You do not want to fall prey to a hefty hospital bill. And Thailand isn't as safe as your home country.
Additional outpatient coverage is usually only a few dollars more, which is money well spent.
7. Home Country Coverage – Are Trips Back Home Covered?
Consider whether or not you'll need home country coverage.
You might need to leave Thailand for a few months, or be sent home unexpectedly from work. Your visa might expire, or you might need support from your immediate family and friends and need to fly out quickly.
It makes sense to get a policy that covers you while visiting home, or indeed other countries.
On a bleaker note, check to see if the insurance company will cover the cost of airfare if repatriation is required. You wouldn't want to saddle your already bereaved family with the bill of having to have your body flown home.
8. Dental Care and Vision
It is now commonplace for people to specifically travel to other countries for cheaper dental care.
While dental care is often cheap in Thailand, major dental surgery can still run you a heavy bill.
And eye care certainly isn't cheap in Thailand.
Most basic insurance policies don't cover either of these areas. These are niche areas of health insurance, so check the policy to see if a visit to an optometrist and dentist is covered.
In politically hostile environments, there could come a time when it gets too dangerous to remain, especially if you have kids.
No one likes considering the following, but it has to be done when you're considering the in's and out's of expat insurance.
Similarly, severe weather or a natural disaster could prompt a quick exit too.
Is this covered? Make sure you check. This tends to be covered under travel insurance, but some policies offer bolt ons for travel.
As mentioned previously, if you get sick and you need out from your country of residence, you need to know you will get the assistance you need.
Moreover, if you die abroad and you want to be buried or cremated back home, you'll need cover for that.
10. Maternity Plans
Maternity brings with it numerous requirements that can be costly when living abroad. But will the costs outweigh paying extra on your policy?
You will need regular visits to the doctor, a mid-wife, perhaps specific advise from a nutritionist, coverage for any wages you may lose from not being able to work, and of course the big moment of birth.
Everyone would like such extensive coverage, but maternity plans are typically NOT covered in basic plans but included on higher, more expensive plans.
Some companies cover for maternity issues better than others, and some will be able to tailor different bolt-ons for you.
If maternity cover is what you need, it may be worth weighing up what it will cost you in cash in Thailand over paying a higher insurance premium.
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