Thailand continues to attract a large number of foreigners who are looking to retire in the Kingdom. The attraction of year round warm weather, friendly locals, and the relatively low cost of living, mean that this trend is un-likely to reverse into the future. As the number of Expat retirees increases, health insurance in thailand for foreigners over 60's is becoming a major talking point in the industry. Whilst many jump at the chance to live care-free in the sun for their retirement years, many also forget to make sure they are adequately protected against illness whilst in Thailand.
As we get older we are at an increased risk of falling sick and requiring medical assistance. Common illnesses of the circulatory system and cancers become more prevalent and such issues can result in medical bills running into the millions of baht. Furthermore, as we get older our body takes longer to recuperate following surgical procedures meaning we need to stay in hospital for longer and this in turn increases costs. Unless you have significant savings to cover the costs of the worse case scenario, insurance will provide you with peace of mind and protection against potentially crippling bills.
Why then is it that many people still chose to live in Thailand without adequate coverage into their 60’s? More often or not people look at the premiums for over 60’s and are scared off by them. Whilst premiums do escalate as we pose an increased risk to the insurer, there are steps that can be taken to lessen the impact age has on premium. We have provided some pointers below.
1. Don’t leave it too late. Typically, health insurers have cut-off ages for enrolling onto plans. Whilst this varies on a provider to provider basis, one really should have a plan in place by 60. The longer you leave it, the smaller your choice of insurers who will be prepared to take you on.
2. Reduce coverage. If you are looking to reduce increasing premiums, then covering yourself for the ‘big ticket’ items only is the best way to reduce costs. By removing cover for outpatient, you can significantly reduce your premiums, whilst retaining cover for serious illness requiring inpatient treatment.
3. Add in a deductible. By agreeing to pay for the first pre-determined amount of a claim, you can reduce premiums markedly. Speak to your insurer about their deductible/excess options.
Whatever steps you decide to take, relying on returning home to your home country for health care when you need it is a very risky option. Whilst in practice this sounds like a good alternative, there are numerous illnesses and scenarios which can leave you in a condition where flying home for care is not an option. Therefore, we strongly recommend you have accessible savings to hand, or, you purchase reliable and adequate cover whilst staying in Thailand.