Changes to insurance rules for retirement visas

The move towards health insurance for foreigners does not yet cover business, work or marriage visa holders and comes as Thai authorities examine health coverage for an aging Thai population and the need for it. attract more foreigners to live in Thailand in order to stimulate the economy.

Following a cabinet decision last Tuesday to change insurance requirements for retirement visa holders in Thailand allowing foreign health insurance policies and increasing the minimum required coverage to $ 100,000, it emerged that over the past 2 years, some expats over 70 have been forced to relinquish their visa status due to difficulties in obtaining local insurance coverage as required by current regulations.

The cabinet decision on insurance requirements for expatriate retirement visas was clarified on Tuesday and Wednesday last week by government spokeswoman Trisulee Traisanakul (right). She explicitly pointed out that there are currently no insurance requirements for foreigners holding non-immigrant marriage or business visas.

This week, government spokeswoman Trisulee Traisanakul announced that the cabinet has decided to change the current regulations regarding insurance requirements for non-immigrant OA retirement visa holders which were introduced in 2019.

She explained that one of the reasons for the move was that currently, some Thai retirees over the age of 70 without prior medical coverage outside the kingdom are prohibited from purchasing health insurance in the local market, as this is currently the case. required under existing Immigration Office regulations.

New foreign insurance policies with coverage greater than $ 100,000 are now accepted for retirement visas

Under the proposed new plan, insurance coverage from companies located outside of Thailand is to be accepted provided officials are satisfied that the coverage has practical effect and covers health costs up to 100,000. $.

In the event that a foreigner is still not able to purchase health coverage, the visa applicant will need to present proof of rejection and, therefore, will need to be able to demonstrate that they are financially capable of coping. health costs that may arise.

The examination, at this stage, is made more urgent given that the elderly are the most exposed to the Covid-19 virus and special attention will be given to the examination and verification of the disease coverage by the authorities. .

Government task force targets more foreigners to live in Thailand, including climate-drawn retirees

At the end of March this year, it was revealed that a new task force set up by the Center for Economic Situation Administration (CESA) and Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow was working to attract more foreigners to live. and working in Thailand with the aim of boosting the economy towards at least 4% annual growth per year.

It comes as Thailand’s population ages, forcing the government to announce the same week that a new national pension scheme is planned.

In addition to attracting young entrepreneurs, self-employed workers and high-income migrants to Thailand, the special unit also identified the retirement market, where Thailand has had some success, as having additional potential with millions of foreigners around the world interested in enjoying the benefits of the kingdom’s climate, favorable environment and relatively low cost of living.

Some elderly retirees forced to give up visa status and leave Thailand after struggling to find health insurance in the local market

One of the main goals of the group, led by former JP Morgan boss Mr. Chayotid Kridakon, was to streamline regulations and visa requirements for foreigners.

Economic plan to bring back smiles to Thailand’s appeal to western foreigners to live and work

Ms Trisulee explained on Wednesday that current insurance requirements have led several expats living in Thailand to be forced to leave the country as they are unable to extend their visa status.

As of 2019, foreigners seeking a retirement visa were required to have a minimum coverage of 40,000 for outpatient treatment and 400,000 for inpatient treatment in Thai hospitals.

This had to be purchased from local insurance companies if the visa applicant did not already have previous foreign health coverage that had not expired.

The problem arose when it was found that many expats over the age of 70 were unable to negotiate insurance coverage in Thailand.

The 2019 schedule now meant that policies had to be purchased from Thai companies, this has to change

The 2019 program is the result of discussions between the Office of the Insurance Commission, the Thai General Insurance Association, the Immigration Office, the Home Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health. public.

It allowed foreigners to keep existing health coverage from foreign insurance providers, but also introduced regulations allowing immigration officials to cancel a visa when it was found that the required health insurance had expired. .

The new requirement, announced in principle this week, for coverage of $ 100,000 or 3.1 million yen can now also be purchased from international insurance companies.

It will replace the previous requirement which stated that new policies must be purchased locally.

Currently, packages can be purchased easily online with premiums ranging from 90,000 to 200,000 per year depending on the range of coverage provided.

There are cheaper options, but the visa applicant must ensure that they meet the criteria to be put in place.

Details under development by the Immigration Office

Following the cabinet decision on Tuesday, the Immigration Office was tasked with developing detailed requirements that must be presented to officials for review.

They will then be published in the public domain before they come into force.

Thailand’s new compulsory insurance can only apply to retirement visas for foreigners
Deputy Minister of Public Health leaves expats confused with press comments on visa insurance for “over 50s”

It has been made clear that the insurance requirement, at this point, has not been extended to other types of non-immigrant visas such as those for business or marriage.

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Further reading:

Economic plan to bring back smiles to Thailand’s appeal to western foreigners to live and work

Government is preparing plan to attract millions more expats to come and live in Thailand, boosting economy

Deputy Minister of Public Health leaves expats confused with press comments on visa insurance for “over 50s”

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