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News Forum - Thailand to require 3 million baht insurance for non- OA immigrant visas


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2 hours ago, Faz said:

The financial requirement for an extension based on retirement is 800K THB, 400K TH based on Thai spouse, unless your using the combination method, 400K THB and 12 x 35K monthly transfers = 800K THB, (snip)

Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear.

The 400k she was referring to was the 400k, from the 800k, that I keep in the bank all year round as a minimum. He'd complained using me as an example, so she simply told him why I didn't need an insurance policy but he did.

I'm just repeating what she said, and it seemed /still seems perfectly reasonable to me.

2 hours ago, Faz said:

Some don't have a next of kin, or made any provisions should they decease.
Therein lies part of the issue.

Agreed, potentially it's an issue but I've got doubts about just how much of an issue it is in real terms - a private hospital just won't take someone like that, or they'll just switch them off if they're being treated and they go into a coma with no sign of being able to pay, and I doubt state hospitals will over exert themselves with no one encouraging them.

That's probably not unique to Thailand, but that's a very different issue as you rightly said.

2 hours ago, Faz said:

I can understand the requirement for a mandatory Health Insurance for the Non O-A Visa application as that Visa effectively allows them to stay in Thailand for almost two years without any necessity of even having a Thai bank account. I do not understand the requirement when they apply for extensions based on retirement, at which point they must provide evidence of finances in a Thai bank.

As I recall her explaining it at the time, and up until then I'd never really had any interest in an O-A visa as IIRC I've been on an O since I came here in my 30's, she told him that an "O-A retirement" was primarily intended for those wanting a one or two year stay, arranged abroad, after which they'd usually go home then either come back again with another "O-A retirement" for another year or two, or come back with an "O" which they'd then get retirement extensions on if they weren't intending to return home later.

The O-A, as she explained it, was never intended for an indefinite stay while the O was, and people were simply mis-using the O-A visa hence the difference.

Taken on those grounds, that seems to make sense.

2 hours ago, Faz said:

There are other areas within Thailand's Immigration system that allows foreigners to stay in Thailand without proof of finances or Thai bank accounts, that remain unchallenged or questioned, yet are much more likely to result in the ability to pay hospital bills.

Agreed absolutely, but I don't think that 'they can get away with it on their visas so why can't I on an A-O' is really a very good argument for those on O-A visas, and in my view those kicking up a stink on those grounds are far more likely to result in things being made worse for many rather than better for a few, so rather like the goat herder complaining about his medical bills some farangs here are our own worst enemies.

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On 10/23/2021 at 9:46 PM, Faz said:

Typical interest on a Savings account is 0.5%.
A 12 month fixed term account typically offers 1.2%.

Again, different immigration offices = different rules.

I'd had the money that I'd used for my 800k in a deposit / limited access account for years without any problem at all, then a couple of years ago my immigration office decided it had to only be in a current account with regular transactions in and out, even though I had 10 -12 mill in the account with TMB and just took some out every few months transferring it to a smaller account with Kasikorn.

It wasn't a problem as they still gave me the extension for another year, but it meant that after that I had to keep more in Kasikorn at 0% interest instead which TMB weren't over impressed with.

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On 10/23/2021 at 1:59 PM, Saltire said:

My wifes 95 year old father was from Myanmar and 2 years ago we paid 2700 Baht per annum for government hospital cover. As you can imagine at 95 he wasn't terribly healthy and that turned out to be very good value over his remaining life. No history required either and minimal paperwork (which was handy as he has had no papers for over 12 years after faking his own death).

Chanceing my arm I asked at the counter if I could have the same but was just met with a smile.

Possibly off-topic by now in which case I apologise.

That was available briefly to farangs, but only as an oversight. 

It's not because of racism or migrant workers (migrant workers have separate cover), but because it was based on Reciprocal Health Agreements (RHA's)  with other countries including Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and China, and those are the countries Thailand has RHA's with, in much the same way the UK has an RHA with Aus. 

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8 minutes ago, Stonker said:

Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear.

The 400k she was referring to was the 400k, from the 800k, that I keep in the bank all year round as a minimum. He'd complained using me as an example, so she simply told him why I didn't need an insurance policy but he did.

👍
If you've been in Thailand 30 consecutive years (before 1998) you should be 'grandfathered' on the old financial requirements. Are you aware of that?

13 minutes ago, Stonker said:

As I recall her explaining it at the time, and up until then I'd never really had any interest in an O-A visa as IIRC I've been on an O since I came here in my 30's, she told him that an "O-A retirement" was primarily intended for those wanting a one or two year stay, arranged abroad, after which they'd usually go home then either come back again with another "O-A retirement" for another year or two, or come back with an "O" which they'd then get retirement extensions on if they weren't intending to return home later.

I can't disagree with her appraisal of the purpose of the Non Imm O-A Visa.

19 minutes ago, Stonker said:

The O-A, as she explained it, was never intended for an indefinite stay while the O was, and people were simply mis-using the O-A visa hence the difference.

It wasn't, but there own regulations allow for those on any 'O' type Visa to apply for annual extensions, subject to financial requirements).

23 minutes ago, Stonker said:

Agreed absolutely, but I don't think that 'they can get away with it on their visas so why can't I on an A-O' is really a very good argument for those on O-A visas, and in my view those kicking up a stink on those grounds are far more likely to result in things being made worse for many rather than better for a few, so rather like the goat herder complaining about his medical bills some farangs here are our own worst enemies.

The solution for the O-A Visa holders, is to get on those other Visa types and the mandatory Health Insurance requirement is then non applicable - but then some don't want to keep funds in a Thai bank.
Unfortunately, you can have anything you want in life, you just can’t have everything you want.

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17 minutes ago, Faz said:

👍
If you've been in Thailand 30 consecutive years (before 1998) you should be 'grandfathered' on the old financial requirements. Are you aware of that?

Thanks, but I was in my 30's when I retired here so sadly that doesn't apply!

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18 hours ago, Faz said:

And if your incapacitated, unable to respond, require emergency surgery, life support - what then?

How does that change anything if you need to pay upfront anywhere, whether you're insured or not?

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15 hours ago, Stonker said:

I've never paid for any treatment in a Thai government hospital, local or provincial, "up front", and in private hospitals such as Bangkok Hospital group I've always just been advised of the cost then paid afterwards - although for anything major I know they expect verified insurance or "up front" payments, as you say - as they do from anyone else.

On a couple of occasions when I've needed A&E treatment out of working hours in the local state hospital and the cashier wasn't there, they simply asked me to pay next time I came in and to tell the cashier.

Different hospitals may well have different policies and different people a different experience, though.

If you're incapacitated, etc, then it's up to your Next of Kin or whoever else you've nominated to give instructions - and in their absence, there's always the insurance policy for "O-A retirees" and the 400,000 in your account for "O retirees".

Do you have a problem with the term "up front?" You keep italicizing it and putting it in quotes as if it is some false notion. I can assure you up front payment was required a year ago when I had to transfer 200,000 baht to have a kidney stone removed. Yes, I've come to the emergency room and been treated before paying. But afterwards, I was always escorted in a wheelchair to the ATM machine and then the billing desk. As to your last point, what if there is nobody with power of attorney or an executor? How does it change anything as far as debts owed if nobody is around to put in a claim??? Not to mention if you get treated and then find out the weasel insurance company just isn't going to pay or hold things up until infinity before they. What happened to all those people a couple of weeks ago with Covid claims that the insurance company just refused to pay?

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23 minutes ago, Metaluna said:

How does that change anything if you need to pay upfront anywhere, whether you're insured or not?

How are you going to be able to pay upfront, or even respond to a question if your unresponsive or unconscious.

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4 minutes ago, Faz said:

How are you going to be able to pay upfront, or even respond to a question if your unresponsive or unconscious.

That is my point. How indeed? How does someone make an insurance claim? 

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8 minutes ago, Metaluna said:

Do you have a problem with the term "up front?" You keep italicizing it and putting it in quotes as if it is some false notion. I can assure you up front payment was required a year ago when I had to transfer 200,000 baht to have a kidney stone removed.

Try a Provincial government hospital instead of a private one.
My experience is the same as @Stonker, I've never been asked 'up front' if I have the funds before being treated or having surgery.

16 minutes ago, Metaluna said:

As to your last point, what if there is nobody with power of attorney or an executor? How does it change anything as far as debts owed if nobody is around to put in a claim???

The hospital can apply for a power of attorney, to handle an Insurance claim, or a court order to release funds from a Thai bank account to pay the costs.

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22 minutes ago, Faz said:

Try a Provincial government hospital instead of a private one.
My experience is the same as @Stonker, I've never been asked 'up front' if I have the funds before being treated or having surgery.

The hospital can apply for a power of attorney, to handle an Insurance claim, or a court order to release funds from a Thai bank account to pay the costs.

Insurance will not help if it's a pre-existing condition exclusion.  Seems to me the only real good answer to all this is to shift everyone to the 800K/400K bank requirement. No more income verification letters with no money in the bank. But all of this is odd anyway. Didn't the government just pass the 500 baht airline fee to cover unpaid medical costs by tourists? Why put insurance mandates on top of that? Because many of the insurance policies are worthless and will not pay up?

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although for anything major I know they expect verified insurance or "up front" payments, as you say - as they do from anyone else.

3 hours ago, Metaluna said:

Do you have a problem with the term "up front?" You keep italicizing it and putting it in quotes as if it is some false notion. I can assure you up front payment was required a year ago when I had to transfer 200,000 baht to have a kidney stone removed.

No problem at all. I simply quoted it, twice - sorry if that somehow offends you, but it's how I quote anyone, including myself. Evidently it put you off, as far from suggesting it was "some false notion" I actually agreed with you ("although for anything major I know they expect verified insurance or "up front" payments, as you say - as they do from anyone else.")

3 hours ago, Metaluna said:

As to your last point, what if there is nobody with power of attorney or an executor? How does it change anything as far as debts owed if nobody is around to put in a claim???

AS @Faz explained, and your funds in Thailand won't usually be released after your demise without approval from your embassy in any case.

4 hours ago, Metaluna said:

Not to mention if you get treated and then find out the weasel insurance company just isn't going to pay or hold things up until infinity before they.

Generally most private hospitals won't do anything major without either the "up front" payment or confirmation from the insurer that they're going to pay.

3 hours ago, Metaluna said:

Seems to me the only real good answer to all this is to shift everyone to the 800K/400K bank requirement.

Well, that's what I said in a previous post that my local Immigration had said was the intention for all long stayers / retirees.

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200,000 baht to have a kidney stone removed

3 hours ago, Faz said:

Try a Provincial government hospital instead of a private one.

At "200,000 baht to have a kidney stone removed", the bill from a government hospital would have been closer to one percent of that than it would to ten percent - even with a private / VIP room it would still have been less than a tenth of that.

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4 hours ago, Stat said:

Was the 3 Mill requirement posted in Royal Gazete? Thanks!

Nobody appears to know, or be able to confirm it, but it hasn't stopped at least one Thai Embassy already stating the 3M requirement for the Non Imm O-A Visa application.

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seems confusing, is this 3.million new rule applies to ALL OA visa retirees now.in thailand? very likely those.with advanced age could.no.longer stay in thailand anymore, as the escalating insurance premium will be unaffordable, actually some insurance companies will only insure up to certain age

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3 minutes ago, ken said:

seems confusing, is this 3.million new rule applies to ALL OA visa retirees now.in thailand?

Suggested from Sept 2022.

3 minutes ago, ken said:

very likely those.with advanced age could.no.longer stay in thailand anymore, as the escalating insurance premium will be unaffordable, actually some insurance companies will only insure up to certain age

From what I've read if you can prove you can't obtain the Health Insurance, due to age, or pre existing medical conditions, then you should be excused the requirement.

The other option is get rid of that O-A label and obtain a Non O.

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so i supposed it has not been carried out yet until sept next year, i guess the law once enacted will drive away many people like me from hong kong as we almost enjoy very affordable or almost free medical care in hk, provided.we put up with the long wait for govt public hospital service, so why spend expensive health insurance premium coming here (the main purpose in retirement is to reduce unnecessary expense). i'd suggest expats be required to pay upfront or deposit in.full before thailand offer them medical service, or why not black list those not paying medical bill? In either case, goodwill is at stake, also chinese or hk retirees coming here usually buy condos to live in, there could be reduced condo demand if fewer retirees from these two regions

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18 minutes ago, ken said:

so i supposed it has not been carried out yet until sept next year, i guess the law once enacted will drive away many people like me from hong kong as we almost enjoy very affordable or almost free medical care in hk, provided.we put up with the long wait for govt public hospital service, so why spend expensive health insurance premium coming here (the main purpose in retirement is to reduce unnecessary expense).

Nobody forces you to come to Thailand Ken. It's of your own free will.

19 minutes ago, ken said:

i'd suggest expats be required to pay upfront or deposit in.full before thailand offer them medical service, or why not black list those not paying medical bill?

Well, unfortunately when you've been hit by a truck or had a massive heart attack, totally unresponsive, your not in any position to be asked anything, or nip to the ATM for some cash.

Get a Non O Visa, then you don't need the mandatory Health Insurance.

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On 10/28/2021 at 5:48 PM, Stonker said:

200,000 baht to have a kidney stone removed

At "200,000 baht to have a kidney stone removed", the bill from a government hospital would have been closer to one percent of that than it would to ten percent - even with a private / VIP room it would still have been less than a tenth of that.

I realize that. Now. At the time, I didn't know the problem, other than having severe pain and nausea. So I went to the nearest hospital 3 km away. If there is a next time, it will be with a government hospital.

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On 10/24/2021 at 8:19 PM, TukTuk said:

You have two choices, to abide by the rules or move out.

What a novel approach.  Can I appoint you the head of U.S. immigration 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bitching and moaning about having to have a policy which amounts to 2 months of premiums in your home Country is ludicrous. I know premiums in the states have increased since I retired in Thailand 10 yrs ago, at that time I paid $150 a week for family coverage, but the moaning and groaning from a few of you is downright ridiculous.  Let me give you all some advice, do as the Thai do worry about today, tomorrow isn't here yet. Or best yet leave if your so unhappy. This is last any of you will hear from me, I'm tired of the berating from some of you numbskulls and am distancing myself from you all......Peace out or get the flunk out.

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I wouldn’t worry about it , tbh just sounds like another load of waffle that will never be enacted.

I know of someone in Issan gets his annual renewal no problem by paying an agent to massage the numbers for him as he can’t even meet the financial requirements for a marriage visa let alone any form of health insurance , in real terms he ain’t got a pot to piss in but he keeps getting his renewal.

The country makes itself look very silly with these so called rules that have a thousand ways to get round if you pay someone 

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