Q: Do I need to pay medical costs upfront or an insurance company pays for me?
A: Insurance companies basically pay directly to their partner hospitals. So, please carefully check a hospital list to make sure if your health insurance policy supports access to those expected hospitals without advance payment needed.
Q: Does health insurance cover medical bills for accidents?
A: Absolutely, health insurance is determined to cover medical expenses from both sickness and accidents, which is different from Personal Accident insurance that covers only costs from accidents.
Q: What benefits do I get from Travel Accident insurance?
A: Mostly, Travel Accident insurance covers only accidents and damages resulting from traveling including luggage damages and loss, flight delay, injuries leading to repatriation, and severe injuries to death. However, some policies are approved by the Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) to offer more benefits such as health issue coverages.
Q: What is IPD/OPD?
A: IPD stands for Inpatient Department, referring to patients who are admitted into a hospital for medical treatments and stay over for more than 6 hours. On the other hand, OPD stands for Outpatient Department, referring to patients who receive treatments at a clinic or hospital without resting there. In case they recover at the hospital, the period must not extend over 6 hours.
Q: How can I save the budget on health insurance?
A: Generally, the possible way to save your budget on health insurance relies on your health conditions; health risk can significantly increase premium. Besides, you can cut off some coverages which results in premium reduction, depending on a company’s policy. Alternatively, certain health insurance plans provide deductible options, which require you to pay the first part of medical expenses; the amount depends on the discount preferred. However, “Deductible” is recommended only when you already have existing coverages. Additionally, applying health insurance for 2 policies upwards at a time, you may get a discount.
Visa & Regulations
Q: I heard that the COVID-19 situation in Thailand is already relieved. Does it mean that the country permits tourists’ entry?
A: Thailand has now welcomed visitors under specific categories; Thai citizens, staff working for consulates, athletes in a royal event, staff on repatriation flights, some visa type holders, and etc. Although certain types of visas, such as marriage visa working visa and student visa, are parts of the permission, they have not yet opened for new applications. If you are a non-Thai citizen without a visa and wish to come to Thailand at the moment, you may be able to apply for Special Tourist Visa (STV), Tourist Visa (TR) and Non-Immigrant Visa Category “O” (Retirement). Above all, the regulations for visa application and a Certificate of Entry (CoE) request entirely rely on the Thai Embassy in your departure country. Hence, kindly check complete information with the office before making any plans.
Q: What is STV and who can get it?
A: STV is a Special Tourist Visa for Non-Thai citizens who would like to travel to Thailand. It allows 90-day stay with 90-day extension two times, maximum staying period of 270 days. The applicants must be from COVID-19 low-risk countries according to the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand; information changes every 15 days. You can check with Thai Embassy in your country if STV applications are opened.
Q: To enter Thailand, is COVID-19 insurance coverage for $100,000 a must for every visitor?
A: According to regulation of Thai Consular and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, all foreigners coming to Thailand are required to hold health insurance that shows minimum medical coverage of 100,000 USD in Thailand and covers the COVID-19 Disease. If you are a non-Thai citizen, of course, it is a must. Thai citizens are exceptional as their medical costs for COVID-19 treatment in Thailand are supported by Thai government.
Q: Embassy informed me to buy ASQ regarding my entry application to Thailand. Can I avail SQ that is provided by Thai government?
A: ASQ (Alternative State Quarantine) is a restriction for every foreign visitor. Since quarantine measures are playing an important role during this pandemic, so if coming from other countries, you need to quarantine by all odds. To clarify, all ASQ hotels are certified by The government and MInistry of Public Health and serve complete quarantine packages for both Thai and foreigners, so the cost is definitely not cheap. Whereas SQ (State Quarantine) is provided for Thai people free of charge.
Q: If I want to live in Thailand, which cities are considered foreigner-friendly?
A: As globally known, Pattaya earns a reputation as a city of foreigners. English-speaking and friendly environment encourages worldwide people to visit and decide to spend their lifetime there. Likewise, Hua Hin, Phuket, Krabi, Koh Samui, Chiang Mai are attractive destinations; natural attractions, good food and familiar neighbors. Bangkok is although said to be too crowded for peaceful life, it’s also a popular city to live for teenage to middle-age foreigners. Most significantly, cost of living in those cities is indeed reasonable, and you will even find cheaper daily expenses in other cities.
Q: As I’m going to take an arrival in Bangkok next week and stay there for a couple of months before moving to Roi-et, are costs of living in these cities different?
A: Yes, they are absolutely different. Cost of living in foreigner-friendly cities, implied as tourism cities, such as Bangkok, Phuket, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai, etc. doesn’t contain big differences. In Bangkok, housing expenses transportation fees are costly but food is affordable, and in Phuket, eating is expensive but apartments are inexpensive, for example. You need approximately 30,000 Baht to live a comfortable life for one month in those cities. While 15,000 Baht per month is more than sufficient in Roi-et. As it’s not a tourism town, you may spend just 35 Baht for one good meal.
Q: How do I get around Thailand? What are transportation options?
A: If you live in Bangkok and metropolitan, you can find various traveling options; sky trains, subways, local trains, buses, taxis or personal vehicles. In some other provinces, they have only minibus service or even serve no public transport, so the best way to travel is by your own car or motorcycle. To travel upcountry, busses are the most popular, and you can also take a van or even a flight in some areas. One more tip, traveling through busy cities, such as Bangkok and Phuket, riding a motorcycle is a highly recommended choice if you don’t enjoy being stuck in traffic for an hour.