Thailand is one of the most attractive destinations for travelers and ex-pats for various reasons. The delicious food, warm weather, welcoming locals, and beautiful beaches.
However, relocating to this country also comes with countless health risks. Treating these can be costly without valid health insurance coverage.
Whether you’re a newly arrived ex-pat or have lived in the country for years, chances are, you’ll need to visit a doctor. And yes, the cost of care in Thailand is very affordable to most foreigners. However, the medical expenses might be very high especially for major procedures like heart bypass surgery whose cost is above $42,000.
If you don’t want to cater to these costs alone, having the right global insurance in Thailand is imperative. Read on to learn more, on the tips to get health insurance in Thailand.
- Understand Your Healthcare Needs
Yes, it is important to obtain a health insurance policy. But don’t be in a hurry. Start by estimating your healthcare needs. For instance, do you want inpatient or outpatient coverage?
For instance, if you, your spouse, or a dependent family member sees a doctor regularly, then your ideal global healthcare in Thailand features outpatient services. As such, it’ll also cover medical care that doesn’t require an overnight stay at the hospital.
However, if you, your spouse, or dependent family members rarely get sick, then go for a relatively basic insurance plan. Such may include an inpatient-only coverage which will save you on costs.
1. Do you Have a Pre-Existing Medical Condition?
Do you know that pre-existing medical conditions are excluded from general health insurance coverage? These may include injuries or illnesses that you currently or previously had.
However, despite being a general exclusion, you can negotiate for pre-existing conditions coverage with a select number of insurance firms. Some restrictions like additional premiums or waiting periods may apply.
2. Do you have a Preferred Specialist?
Yes, you may have a specific specialist to be covered in your policy. But don’t be in a hurry. Rather, engage your insurance agent or broker to check whether the specialist or the clinic is part of a plan’s network of healthcare providers. Yes, the insurance policy will allow you to visit specialists outside of your plan’s provider network, but the insurance cover will only cater to a small portion of the medical fees. At times, the insurance may not give any reimbursements.
Determine Your Required Medical Coverage Benefits
Now you have an idea of your healthcare needs. It’s time now to decide the type of healthcare benefits you’ll need. But why? There are significant differences between insurers and even plans from the same insurance policy.
For example, the basic plan may cover your hospitalization expenses in Thailand only with little or zero additional benefits. Other options may cover outpatient, dental, and maternity services.
The best type of medical coverage benefit is dependent on your needs. Local and international plans in Thailand may include the following:
- Inpatient and outpatient services
Further, you can include coverage for additional treatments. With this, you can choose a plan that covers: maternity care, worldwide cover, optical care, dental care, health checks, and pre-existing medical conditions.
- Compare Health Insurance Options
It may seem like a tiring and time-consuming process, however, failure to do this may see you choose an ill-fitting insurance policy. You don’t want this to happen.
One can use price comparison sites to start the exercise. The advantage, these sites save your time. However, take care as not all comparison sites have your best interest at heart.
The Factors to Consider When Comparing Plans
These are the tangible and intangible elements that one considers before comparing plans. These elements help you to determine whether you’re getting value from the insurance plans you’re comparing or not. They include:
- Price: the cheapest insurance premium is likely not indicative of the best insurance policy.
- Reputation: what’s the reputation of the insurer concerning reimbursements, payouts, and reliable customer service?
- The provider networks: which are the policy covered healthcare facilities
- The coverage area: is the insurance plan limited to Thailand only or it features worldwide coverage?
These are just some factors that one considers when comparing plans.
- Lower Your Premiums
Yes, most buyers use the prevailing prices to make a decision. It’s worth noting that the cheapest price isn’t indicative of the best insurance policy. Luckily, one can lower the premium rates to get an affordable, and beneficial health insurance policy.
Yes, Thailand is a popular destination for most people. Different people love this country for various reasons. But despite the reason for travelling, the welcoming and loving locals, warm weather, delicious foods and beautiful beaches make people want to visit. However, like other challenges, relocating to country comes with some health risks. The only way to protect yourself is by investing in the right insurance coverage.