Healthcare in Thailand

As part of Living in Thailand I get sometimes questions about healthcare in Thailand. So following is information for expats living in Thailand.

I come from a little country in Europe where having access to healthcare for all people in society is part of society. And I think that is a very good system. Thailand is a little bit different. First of all I am not Thai, but just a guest of this country. In Thailand there is an National Health Care system where people can go to their local hospital and get medical service for almost free. That sounds good but in reality it is not really working. Hospitals are busy, there are long waiting lines and upcountry hospitals are many times far away. And there are not much doctors and nurses working.

But there are very good private hospitals in Thailand if you have money. So when living here you can choose to ignore the risk for medical service and spend your money on other things. But when I moved to Thailand I had what we call an Expat Healthcare Insurance from my home country. Very good and they always did pay without any problem. And it was not very expensive in the beginning. That is all in the past .... first of all the last 5 years the price for this did rise significantly, especially when I crossed the age of 50. Then they decided to pull the plug on their private Expat Healthcare Insurance in totally. So what now?

My old insurance company offered AXA PPP Healthcare UK and indeed they offer good worldwide healthcare insurance. And actually cheaper as my old insurance company, but they do not have a service provider in Thailand. And yes there is AXA Thailand but that offers an all other insurance and as of service has nothing to do with AXA PPP Healthcare UK. At least like that was told to me. So I did look into other options in Thailand.

As my wife already has a healthcare insurance with BUPA I had a look into that for myself. And as family we would get a 10% discount and with BUPA you get a 10% refund if you do not make any claims in 1 year. Now they have very cheap insurances but of course they also not cover so much (lower max. benefit). So I did choose a Platinum Plan with Personal Accident cover. Be aware that they have quite a few exclusions and that this insurance is only for in-patient service. That means that only when you are hospitalised (stay in the hospital) they will pay. You can get out-patient insurance (OPD) but the costs for this are almost the maximum benefit. So you can just as well take the risk yourself. BUPA offers acceptance up-to 65 years old and offers life-time insurance. But well yes that did offer my old insurance company also. Premiums up-to 70 years not bad.

News 25 July 2017 : Bupa has just been taken over by AETNA Inc. Bupa Thailand was established over 30 years ago, and is Thailand’s leading specialist health insurer, with more than 300,000 members and a network of over 400 health care providers in the country. Bupa Thailand will continue to operate under the Bupa brand for a short time before rebranding as Aetna.

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