Health cover perks for foreigners

Health cover perks for foreigners

A health worker prepares a shot of the Sinopharm vaccine for people at Wat Bang Phli Yai Klang in Samut Prakan on Oct 16, 2021. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)
A health worker prepares a shot of the Sinopharm vaccine for people at Wat Bang Phli Yai Klang in Samut Prakan on Oct 16, 2021. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)

The Public Health Ministry is expanding the health insurance ceiling, covering Covid-19 treatment, to at least US$100,000 (3 million baht) for non-immigrant visa O-A applicants, to bolster their confidence to stay in the kingdom.

Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha said on Wednesday the health insurance criteria have been revised for foreigners who hold the non-immigration visa type O-A for a one-year stay. The change came into effect on Tuesday.

In addition, visa holders can also submit an application for this health insurance from their countries, Mr Sathit said.

The proposal was submitted by the ministry and other related agencies to the cabinet which approved it on June 15.

The health insurance ceiling for foreigners holding this type of visa would be expanded from 40,000 baht for outpatient care and 400,000 baht for inpatient care to at least 3 million baht which covers medical expenses and Covid-19 treatment.

Mr Sathit said the move was to follow the government's policy to promote health tourism and turn Thailand into a global medical hub.

The development will also focus on Thai herb products, traditional Thai massage and spa, and boost the potential of the hospitality sector to attract more foreign tourists.

Since last year, 3,768 elderly foreign nationals have applied for the non-immigration visa for a one-year stay, Mr Sathit said.

Tares Krassanairawiwong, director-general of the Department of Health Service Support, said this type of visa is granted to elderly people from overseas who cannot take out insurance in Thailand or where their insurance certification form is not valid for Thailand's systems.

Taking out health insurance from foreign countries will also help reduce the issue of visa extensions, which also helps to screen foreigners travelling to Thailand.

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