Why you need family health insurance in Thailand
Whilst generally speaking Thailand is a safe place to live, there are a whole range of risks which are present in Thailand which can catch expats off-guard. These are risks which we may not have come across before in our country of Nationality. Why is family health insurance Thailand a worthwhile expenditure one may ask? Here we look at some reasons;
Food poisoning is something which is more prevalent in the humid climates of SouthEast Asia, when foods are commonly exposed to heat and bacteria which make them harmful to our guts. Whilst food poisoning is not a rare occurrence, one should keep an eye out for the more serious side effects such as septicaemia and dehydration, both of which can leave you hospitalised if they take hold.
Dog bites in Thailand are another issue which whilst normally trivial in the West, create a number of potential issues in Thailand due to the risk of rabies. If you, or your children, are bitten in Thailand it’s imperative that you seek medical attention and get the immunisations against rabies. It could save your life!
Perhaps the greatest danger to health, and indeed life, in Thailand are the roads. Road accidents are a leading cause of mortality, and Expats are often caught up in bad situations. Wearing helmets when riding, or a passenger upon, a motorbike is a crucial step all Expats should take to make their stay in Thailand safer. The rules of the road here are different, and many which exist in home countries may not exist in Thailand. It’s also crucial to remember that a valid local driving license will be required in the event of you being involved in an accident when you are driving.
In order to protect your family against these unexpected mishaps, investing in a comprehensive family health insurance plan will be a prudent step.
What's the best way to find family cover ?
The first option you have when looking for family health insurance is to go direct to the insurer. They will likely have a direct sales team who will be able to sell you one of their plans. The issue with this approach is that the salesperson will only be able to sell from a narrow range of products. The plans they have may not meet your individual needs. Furthermore you are likely to be passed around departments when dealing directly with an insurer, as opposed to having one single point of contact like you’ll have with a leading broker.
There is also the option of speaking to a specialist intermediary, or broker. A good broker should be able to listen to your needs and requirements, and then suggest options from a wider range of plans. This should result in you finding a plan completely suited to your needs. As a guide, an experienced broker should be asking you a lot of questions when you first start speaking. These should include details on:
- Your medical history. Understanding this will allow them to recommend the correct plans.
- Your residency plans. Are you planning on staying in one country? Are you planning on moving every 3 years?
- Level of cover required? Are you looking for inpatient only benefits? Or, inpatient and outpatient.
- Your ages. This is the most basic, yet critical information when working out pricing.
For more information on why you should use an insurance broker, please check out our blog article!
Benefits of the best family health insurance plans
By applying for insurance as a family, there are benefits to be had with many providers.
Premium discounts for families over a certain size. For example if you have 4 or more family members, you may receive a discount of up to 20%
Special pricing. We work with one provider who offers ‘buy one, get one’ pricing for children. This is particularly attractive as it can be very expensive to insure a young family.
It's also worth considering the potential downside. The main one being that whilst you may get a discount for a family policy, obtaining a no claims discount is difficult as it's dependent on all family members not claiming.
Things to consider when choosing a policy
There are numerous considerations which need to be made when choosing a family health insurance plan.
Firstly, you need to assess the level of coverage you are purchasing. How much cover is adequate for the country or countries you will be resident in? There is no point buying a plan which leaves you exposed to potential high cost claims. The whole purpose of an insurance plan is to give you peace of mind. Do your research on costs at the hospitals you would feel comfortable using, and then estimate the level of cover you will need.
Secondly, do you want to cover aspects such as dental and vision? These are normally added as an add-on to a health policy, but there are also plans available where these benefits are included.
Do you need cover for wellness? Wellness is cover for things which are not a result of accident or illness. Annual health checks are a good example. It’s also important to note that vaccinations fall under the umbrella of wellness. The majority of policies available will not cover child vaccinations.
Do any of you have any pre-existing health conditions? If the answer is ‘YES’ then you need to be prepared for having previous conditions excluded from cover on your family health insurance policy. If the conditions are from a while back, and you have had no follow up or medication since, then a moratorium policy might be the best option for you.
Are you planning on having more children? If so you’ll need a plan with maternity benefits. Having all family members insured under a plan covering maternity can be very expensive. Therefore, we typically split up the policy to make it more cost effective for our customers.
Making sure you have leading family health insurance cover whilst you are in Thailand is at the forefront of many minds. If you, or any of your family members require healthcare in Thailand it’s great to have peace of mind that they can be cared for in the best hospitals and seen by the best Doctors.
If you are looking to assess your options then give us a call today. We can listen to the needs you have for each family member and we can also point you in the direction of insurers who have family friendly pricing. We understand that covering your family can be a costly affair, thus any discounts are always well received.