If you are reading this post, then most probably you are interested in health insurance for traveling to Thailand. Just before the borders of Thailand were closed, the Thai government applied a new insurance requirement to cover COVID-19 treatment to all travelers entering the Kingdom of Thailand.
All incoming foreign travelers must provide a health insurance policy with an insured amount of at least 100,000 USD, covering outpatient and inpatient treatment of the coronavirus type COVID-19 upon departure to Thailand. Medical insurance is also required for applying visa to Thailand. This rule came into effect on March 19, 2020.
According to the Thailand Insurance Commission, COVID-19 insurance for foreigners is approved to cover travelers who pass through immigration in Thailand. The coverage should be valid for medical treatment after the diagnosis of COVID-19 infection and necessary treatment, the company should pay compensation up to 3.5 million THB (100,000 USD).
In the event of a COVID-19 illness in Thailand, health insurance should cover the costs of care and treatment by a general practitioner or specialist, the medicine prescribed by a doctor, necessary patient transport and hospitalization in a local hospital.
Insurance policies with COVID-19 coverage
From the reports seen online, Thai embassies tend to refuse documents that don’t mention the "COVID-19" coverage. The certificate needs to state explicitly 3 conditions that the Health Insurance is for 100,000 USD or more, COVID-19 is covered and time of coverage. If your present insurance does not meet the requirements, it will not be accepted by Thai Embassy and you will not be allowed to travel to Thailand.
The health insurance policy can be issued in English. If the policy is issued in another language, the policy should contain an English transcription.
Below is an example of Covid-19 Insurance Certificate
How much does COVID-19 insurance cost?
The price of COVID-19 insurance can be varying and depends on your age and how long you will be staying in Thailand. The insurance can cost anywhere from 2,700 THB to 100,000 THB.
How to buy medical insurance for Thailand?
You need to purchase health insurance before traveling. To find medical insurance policies that cover COVID-19 for Thailand travel is easy. There are two ways to check a health insurance policy that meets the requirements for obtaining a visa to Thailand:
- In person at the office of the insurance company
- Completely independently on the Internet using an online service
Keep in mind that you should also check for Coronavirus Coverage to see relevant policies and set the minimum cover to at least 100,000 USD. The purchased online and then printed insurance policy is accepted by Thai embassies or consulates.
Thai insurance companies are offering COVID-19 insurance policies that are tailored according to the government's requirements and therefore are accepted by Thai embassies and consulates with no trouble. Getting Thai insurance policy is easy as you can conveniently buy insurance online with credit card and the insurance policy and COVID-19 certificate will be sent to you instantly.
Sawasdee Thailand is the special insurance package offered by AXA Insurance. This inbound travel insurance was successfully used by thousands of travelers to enter Thailand during COVID-19 pandemic as it meets all the requirements:
- Covers COVID-19 related medical treatment with a coverage of no less than 100,000 USD
- Period of 30, 60, 90, 180, 270, and up to 365 days, for you to choose depending on visa type
- Coverage starts immediately after clearing immigration in Thailand
- Coverage includes the 14-day quarantine period at Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) and Alternative Local Quarantine (ALQ) hotels
- Insurance certificate including COVID-19 coverage statement is provided (this document needs to be submitted when applying for COE)
- No waiting period , no deductible, no advance payment for hospitalization
Note: the statement on AXA’s website says that if you will be tested positive for COVID-19 during quarantine (a big concern for most of travelers) and won’t have any symptoms, AXA will cover medical expenses incurred based on medical necessity regardless of the showing of symptoms.
The price of AXA COVID-19 insurance depends on the length of travel period, age and country of departure (Low Risk Zone, Medium Risk Zone or High Risk Zone). The price can be calculated and insurance can be purchased online here: Sawasdee Thailand.
To make sure that you are getting a good deal for COVID-19 insurance, you might wish to compare several offers. Another Thai company offering COVID-19 insurance online for travelers to Thailand is the local insurance broker Mister Prakan and their Thailand Pass Insurance.
Important! Long Stay Visa (O-A, O-X, STV) holders must also present health insurance policy that has coverage of not less than 400,000 THB per policy year for Inpatient, and not less than 40,000 THB per policy year for outpatient, issued by an approved Thai insurance company. You can easily request a quote for a suitable Health Insurance from AXA Thailand, which is one of acceptable insurance companies.
Cost of COVID-19 medical treatment
Diagnostics for the presence of coronavirus by PCR for foreigners in Thailand can cost from 3,000 THB to 14,000 THB, depending on where you are tested. For those who meet the PUI criteria, the government will support the cost of diagnosis (either public or private hospital).
The cost of treatment for coronavirus in hospitals in Thailand ranges from 700 USD to 1,000 USD per day, depending on the hospital. There may also be additional costs of staying in the intensive care unit (ICU). For foreigners who are positive for COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2 infection), the cost of treatment will be covered by the health insurance package. Thai people who tested positive for COVID-19 are responsible for the cost of the treatment by themselves through their health insurance or gold card.
Others requirements to enter Thailand
Non-Thai nationals who are permitted to enter Thailand must present the following documents at check-in counter in the country of origin and at immigration control in Thailand:
- Valid visa or re-entry permit
- Certificate of Entry (COE) issued by the embassy
- Health insurance policy which covers treatment and medical expenses in relation to COVID-19, with a minimum coverage of 100,000 USD
- COVID-19-Free Health Certificate with a laboratory test result indicating that COVID-19 is negative, using RT-PCR method, which has been certified or issued no more than 72 hours before departure
- Confirmation of Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) or Alternative Local State Quarantine (ALQ) hotel booking for the period of quarantine.
General information about Medical Services in Thailand
Medical services in Thailand are some of the best in Asia so you don't have to worry about your health when you have a health insurance for treatment and related costs in case of an unforeseen situation.
There are about 400 hospitals in Thailand that are accessible to anyone and most of them offer high standard medical services. Moreover, most of the clinics with all the necessary equipment are located in large cities. In the tourist areas you will find many international clinics. In rural areas, it is still not hard to find local clinics, so basic care is definitely available everywhere. They can provide any qualified assistance and conduct an examination.
Furthermore, if you need any medications, you can buy them freely at any pharmacy at low price. Almost all medicines in Thailand are sold without a prescription.
Medical services are generally cheaper in Thailand, but the bill can add up quickly when you go to private hospitals. Bills from doctors and hospitals in Thailand must be paid immediately in cash or by credit card. You can then get the costs reimbursed in most cases if you have an appropriate insurance covering traveling abroad.
For more information, you can check about health risks and vaccinations in Thailand.