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18 May 2010 ~ 13 Comments

Thailand Medical Insurance

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If you’re a Thai citizen then you don’t need to worry about medical insurance in Thailand since it’s provided by the Thai government. However, if you’re an expat in Thailand or thinking of moving to Thailand then medical insurance may be something you’ve thought of, but are unsure where or how to get it.

I know this post may not apply to everyone. Let’s face it, medical costs in Thailand are pretty darn cheap. I’ve been to the emergency room at BNH hospital for less than $75 (including 3 prescriptions). I’ve had a cavity filled at Yanhee Hospital for something like $35. Basic needs are not that big a deal and if you’re young you could easily forgo medical insurance in Thailand without risking too much.

Those working in Thailand on expat packages with international companies won’t need to worry about medical coverage since it will be included as part of their compensation. Even the lowly English teacher in Thailand will often get some basic form of insurance coverage from their employer.

So who is this aimed at? Mostly people like Golf and myself I suppose. Thai-Farang couples, especially those with children, will more than likely want to find some level of decent medical insurance if they are prudent and want to sleep well at night. Let’s face it, after adequate housing and a good Thailand International school for your kids, taking care of their health is probably next on your mind.

I’ve found 4 companies offering health insurance in Thailand (there may be more) for what I consider a reasonable price. Coverage is quite similar between the 4 with some mostly small differences. Below you’ll find an outline of each companies coverage as well as links to the company website and coverage brochure in case you want to take a closer look.

BUPA
The BUPA coverage is the least expensive option of the 4 and provides adequate protection at a reasonable price. You’ll find the standard 1/2/5 million baht coverage limits, coverage for surgical fees and room and board in case of hospitalization, US$1 million in evacuation and repatriation coverage as well as optional maternity and outpatient coverage. Not bad coverage at all and BUPA has been quite popular amongst Thailand expats.
BUPA Coverage Brochure
BUPA Premium Table
BUPA Thailand Website

LMG Pacific Healthcare
The LMG plan is a bit more expensive than the BUPA plan, but has much broader and comprehensive coverage limits. They define two types of plans the “Maxi-Care” plan which has a 5 million baht lifetime benefit and the “Ultra-Care” plan which has a 20 million baht lifetime limit. The LMG plan is also a family plan meaning it covers the entire family of the policy holder, making it ideal for those with children. It covers all the basics and also provides up to 2 million baht of coverage when you’re outside Thailand. Optional benefits also include dental and vision and there are options for discounts as well. 20% discount when you waive the outpatient coverage and various discounts for accepting a deductible on the coverage. In my opinion the LMG plans provides the most bang for your buck if you’re covering a family of 3 or more and is quite likely what Golf and I will be using when we move to Thailand.
LMG Coverage Brochure & Costs
LMG Website

AXA Smartcare Optimum
The AXA Smartcare Option also looked good to me. It provides very comprehensive coverage including a broad range of inpatient and surgery fees as well as covering international travel. Limits for in country coverage are 1.5/2.5/5 million baht lifetime and there is optional outpatient coverage available if you wish. There is a 5% discount when insuring 2-3 people and a 10% discount for 4 or more insured. Aside from the fact that the AXA coverage is a bit more expensive than the LMG coverage I was also concerned with their eligibility requirements which read: “Thai citizens, Permanent resident of Thai, Employment Pass holders or Work Permit holders”. As I very likely won’t fall into any of those categories I can forsee some definite problems with the AXA people if a claim ever comes to pass. So, even though I will most likely not be using AXA as my insurer I still believe the coverage would be valuable to others with different circumstances than my own.
AXA Coverage Brochure & Costs
AXA Thailand Website

APRIL Mobilite Asia Expat
The APRIL Mobilite plan was the most expensive of the 4 plans I looked at, which didn’t immediately disqualify it for me, but there were other concerns I had with the plan. First off, the website explaining the coverage is all in French and that is also the site you are supposed to use when submitting claims. Fine if you read French, but I don’t. The customer service number is also French based and I just figure why take chances with the language barrier when I can get similar coverage from other companies for less cost. I included the brochure here to provide a complete review, but unless you are French or come from a French speaking country I can’t recommend the APRIL Mobilite plan.
APRIL Mobilite Coverage Brochure & Costs
APRIL Mobilite (site in French)

I hope you found the information about medical insurance in Thailand to be helpful. It took me a bit of digging to pull all this information together and I hope that by posting it all here in one place I can save others the trouble of finding it from various places.

Since I’m not in Thailand yet I could dig up more information or there could be changes in plans so I will keep this page updated as much as possible. Currently this is the first version and is correct as of May 18, 2010 to the best of my knowledge.

Posted by Steve () in Thailand Financial, Thailand Healthcare

About the Author

Steve Walters started Thailand Musings in 2006 after meeting and marrying Golf on the site Thai Love Links. The site was started as a way to share information about Thailand, it's people, culture and traditions and has grown substantially since that time. As a long time visitor to the Kingdom Steve hopes you enjoy his thoughts and observations about Thailand and it's culture. He can be contacted here.