Thailand’s vibrant culture, stunning beaches, and friendly atmosphere make it a dream destination for Expats. Each year thousands of people move to Thailand with the dream of making it their home. One of their first concerns is making sure they have health insurance in place, as well as expat life insurance.

While budget is a major concern, opting for the cheapest health insurance plan in Thailand can lead to unexpected financial stress down the road. As the age old saying goes, you get what you pay for. This definitely applies to medical insurance.

In this article we take a look at why prioritising quality coverage over rock-bottom prices may end up saving you money in the long term.

1. Limited Network & Coverage: Cheap plans often restrict your access to quality healthcare providers and have numerous conditions/sub limits which limit the protection you have.

Key things to look out for include:

  • Geographic limitation on coverage. Be sure you know where you are covered, especially if you travel on a regular basis.
  • Limits on medical conditions. Understanding the sub limits on your plan is essential. There is no point in having a high overall coverage if specific conditions are subject to caps.
  • Schedules. These are often hidden away in the lower end plans which are sold in addition to life insurance. In effect, they limit the amount of cover you can obtain for certain conditions. Well worth avoiding!
  • Overall low coverage. Once your policy is maxed out, the remainder of the bill will be met by yourself. We suggest 10 million THB coverage as a minimum.

2. Exclusions & Hidden Costs: All individual health insurance will exclude pre-existing health conditions. However, we need to ask further questions including:

  • Are there age based exclusions on coverage?
  • Is there scope to re-assess exclusions later down the line?

The use of excesses/deductibles are a great way of managing premium increases as people age. However, it’s important that you understand if there are compulsory deductibles placed on plans and/or co-pays which will limit the pay out you receive in the event of a claim.

3. Servicing & Communication Issues: Navigating healthcare in Thailand can be tricky, especially outside of the main foreign orientated areas.  

Having an insurer on hand who is responsive and most importantly accessible is crucial. If an insurer fails in their servicing, then you are guaranteed issues with claims, renewals, and any other situation where you interact with the company.

If you work with a responsive broker, then that should limit potential issues.

4. Claim Reimbursement Delays & Disputes: Typically, cheap plans have a reputation for slow claim processing and even denials.  If health insurance is cheap then it’s for a reason. Either the coverage is insufficient, or, the insurer cuts costs by refusing or being very tough on claims adjudication.

This can leave you scrambling for funds to cover medical bills while waiting for reimbursement. Dealing with claim disputes in a foreign language can also be a frustrating and time-consuming ordeal.

5: No legal protection.

Doing your homework and looking into your health insurance provider is essential. As an intermediary, Seek2Insure focus on making sure the providers we offer our clients are legitimate and will deliver when needed. Questions that need to be answered include; 

Where is the insurer located?

Who regulates them? 

Where would you take legal action in the event of a dispute?

Only when you are confident of an insurers legal standing should you proceed with them.

Choosing the Right Health Insurance Plan for Expats in Thailand:

  • Consider your needs: Do you have pre-existing conditions? Are you planning on starting a family? You need to factor these needs into your plan selection as most plans will not cover pre-existing conditions, and good quality maternity can be challenging to source.
  • Network & Coverage: Check the details on where your plan will provide cover. A broad network of reputable hospitals and clinics is an essential consideration.
  • Coverage Limits & Deductibles: Opt for plans with sufficient coverage limits and a manageable deductible that fits your budget.
  • English Support: Choose a plan with English-speaking customer service and support staff at partnered hospitals for clear communication.
  • Claim Reimbursement Process: Research the insurer’s reputation for timely and efficient claim processing if they do not offer direct claims settlement.

A  reputable Thailand-based health insurance broker will be able to guide you towards a plan that meets your specific needs and budget. At Seek2Insure we pride ourselves on being accessible and accountable. Give us a call!

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