Expat health insurance in Thailand | How to choose the best health insurance for expats in Thailand

BSI Insurance Broker Limited offers a host of different policies representing the best options for expat health insurance in Thailand from a wide variety of reputable health insurance providers including AXA, Aetna, NZI, Pacific Cross Health Insurance PCL, SEIC, and Thai Health.

We are often asked how to choose the best health insurance for expats in Thailand, and the correct response is ‘it depends’ – in reality there is no simple answer as each situation is different, which is the reason why it’s wise to have our professional expertise to guide you. There is a very wide and varied choice of health insurance in Thailand and costs vary from a few thousand baht to tens and even hundreds of thousands of baht per year. Not surprisingly the amount of cover offered by the insurers varies also. Buying can be confusing and good independent advice is not always easy to come by. So, what you should you consider to make sure you purchase the right policy for you?

In the first instance, insure for what you cannot afford – protection is nearly always cheaper than the cure! Although we keep hearing how affordable healthcare is in Thailand, we regularly see some fairly large invoices:

  • Treatment for a stroke victim that resulted in a 3 months hospital stay. Cost THB 3.9 million.
  • Breast cancer treatment for 12 hospital visits. Cost THB 3 million.
  • Seven days in hospital with a broken ankle. Cost THB 465k.

At a minimum, we advise you to make sure you secure good cover for in-patient treatment. Coverage for dental, routine health checks, routine visits to the doctor for common ailments all add significantly to premiums. Frankly, these are still relatively affordable in Thailand. Anything which involves a hospital stay is likely to be expensive however, and this is what, by and large, people cannot afford. Ensure any plan you choose covers you fully for any treatment that is serious enough to require a period in hospital or prolonged treatment on a day-care basis.

What illnesses and conditions are NOT covered by health insurance?

General exclusions will almost certainly include:

  • Treatment relating to alcohol or drug abuse
  • Self inflicted injuries
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Dietary supplements
  • Treatment for addictive or compulsive disorders
  • Sleep disorders
  • Congenital defects or conditions

This is by no means an exhaustive list. In addition, insurers will generally not cover pre-existing conditions but terms and conditions do vary from insurer to insurer, so it does pay to check carefully.  Another area that insurers tend to limit cover upon, if they offer cover at all, is the routine treatment of chronic conditions, because treatment costs can be high and continue for many years. Common chronic conditions include the following:

  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart disease

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