Covid insurance needed for O-A expats

Covid insurance needed for O-A expats

Foreigners living in Thailand on retirement visas will in the future have to prove they have insurance coverage of at least US$100,000 (three million baht) against Covid-19.

The proposal was approved in principle by the cabinet yesterday and the government said it would apply to  holders of the one-year, non-immigrant O-A, or retirement visa.

The proposal was approved in principle by the cabinet on Tuesday and Traisuree Taisaranakul, deputy spokeswoman for the government, said it would apply to all holders of the one-year visa.

The new rule follows an amendment to the regulations approved by the cabinet in April last year.

The extra Covid-19 insurance coverage regulation does not apply to other non-immigrant visa categories: marriage, business, educational and media, among others.

At present, holders of the non-immigrant O-A visa must be insured to the tune of just 40,000 baht for out-patient treatment and 400,000 baht for in-patient treatment at a hospital. They are required to purchase Thai health insurance via a dedicated website which is problematic.

Future non-immigrant O-A visa applicants must produce proof they have taken out the far higher insurance against Covid-19 and if they are eligible for state-sponsored welfare or insurance, the same minimum coverage applies.

Those seeking to renew their non-immigrant O-A visas are free to buy the insurance from abroad.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the new insurance requirement applied to holders of all non-immigrant visas. We apologise for the error.

Vocabulary

  • cabinet: the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - คณะรัฐมนตรี
  • eligible: allowed by rules or laws to do something or to receive something - มีสิทธิ
  • immigrant: a person who has come to a different country in order to live there permanently - ผู้อพยพ, คนย้ายถิ่น
  • insurance: an arrangement in which you regularly pay an insurance company an amount of money so that they will give you money if something you own is damaged, lost, or stolen, or if you die or are ill or injured - การประกัน
  • insured: having insurance - ซึ่งมีประกัน
  • patient: someone who is receiving medical treatment - คนป่วย, คนไข้
  • retirement (noun): the time when you stop working, especially because of old age - เกษียณอายุ, การอำลาวงการ
  • security: protection; systems providing for safety from attack, harm, or damage - ระบบรักษาความปลอดภัย
  • welfare: help given, especially by the state or an organization, to people who need it; good care and living conditions - สวัสดิการ
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