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Since Covid-19 hit the whole world in 2020, insurance with Covid-19 coverage has become necessary in order to fly to many countries, including Thailand.
However, this doesn’t mean that any Covid-19 insurance will work. You need to get it from an insurer that can issue you proof of insurance that passes the requirements from the Thai government.
It’s also not limited to Covid-19 insurance alone.
Let’s find out what options you have when it comes to proof of Covid-19 insurance to come to Thailand and how to choose the right one.
- What is it?
- When Do You Need It?
- How to Get It?
- Insurance Option
- Which Type of Insurance Should You get?
- How Long Do You Need to Have Health Insurance?
- Which Covid-19 Insurance Should You Get as a Retiree?
- What You Should Know Before Buying Covid-19 Insurance
- Now, on to You
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What is it?
Unless you are a Thai citizen, everyone coming to Thailand needs to have proof of health insurance.
It is an insurance certificate showing that your insurance covers Covid-19 medical expenses for the entirety of your stay in Thailand.
The coverage amount should be at least $100,000 USD or equivalent.
The insurance certificate should be either in English or Thai and must clearly state Covid-19 coverage.
Each insurance provider has a different way of doing this. Some insurance companies may give you a separate insurance certificate while the others may mention it as a part of their medical coverage.
This means that even if your health insurance comes with Covid-19 coverage, the Thai government won’t accept if it doesn’t clearly state the coverage.
When Do You Need It?
As of May 2021, to get a certificate of entry (COE), you need to book a flight, alternative state quarantine, and health insurance and upload all documents on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
The approval should be done within a few hours.
How to Get It?
It is similar to buying health insurance. You can get it from a broker or from an insurance representative.
If it’s travel insurance, you are able to buy it online and get proof of insurance right after your purchase.
You can get it from both insurance providers in Thailand or international insurance companies as long as it fullfils the requirements mentioned above.
Although you will hear it called proof of health insurance or Covid-19 insurance, it can actually be any type of insurance as long as it comes with Covid-19 coverage with a minimum amount of $100,000 USD or equivalent.
Let’s find out which options you have, including their pros and cons.
It can be offshore insurance or local insurance depending on your requirements and budget.
In general, a health insurance plan comes with all types of medical expenses including Covid-19, as long as it isn’t a pre-existing condition.
You are able to renew the plan every year. Some comprehensive plans may even come with lifetime coverage.
Although health insurance is more expensive than other options, it comes with better coverage.
If not, you should recheck with your insurance provider to find out whether or not they can issue you proof of health insurance as required by the Thai government.
Please read our health insurance in Thailand article to find out more information.
If you plan to travel to Thailand or stay here less than a year, you can check out travel insurance.
In addition to health coverage, you also get travel-related coverage such as lost baggage, flight delays, and theft.
Please note that travel insurance isn’t health insurance. Although it comes with medical coverage, it can’t be compared with an actual health insurance plan.
To give you an idea, travel insurance usually comes with emergency medical coverage – which means it won’t cover for any sickness that isn’t considered an emergency, such as cancer.
When you have a major disease, travel insurance may patch you up and send you home, while with health insurance you can continue your treatment in Thailand.
In addition, the maximum duration you can buy travel insurance for is usually one year.
You should also note that not all travel insurance providers are able to give you proof of insurance.
ACS Globe Traveller is our general recommendation when it comes to travel insurance. You can get proof of health insurance approved by the Thai government instantly after purchase.
The overall coverage is also good.
Please read our travel insurance in Thailand article to find out more information.
Covid-19 insurance comes with coverage for Covid-19 related expenses only.
This means that it doesn’t include any other illnesses at all, including other existing illnesses you have that are worsened by Covid-19.
To give you an idea, if you have high blood pressure and it gets worse from Covid-19, the insurance company might not pay for medical expenses related to your blood pressure.
Covid-19 insurance is provided by insurers in Thailand.
Although Covid-19 insurance has much less coverage, it is only slightly less expensive than other insurance.
For example, a one-year Covid-19 insurance plan may cost you 23,000 THB, while you need to pay 26,000 baht for travel insurance.
However, the best thing is that it is available until you are 99 years old.
Covid-19 insurance is often confused with Covid-19 insurance for Thai citizens.
Many local insurance companies in Thailand provide Covid-19 insurance in which the company will pay when you are diagnosed with Covid-19.
For example, you need to pay 399 baht for one year of coverage. If you are diagnosed with Covid-19, the insurance company will pay you 100,000 baht.
This type of Covid-19 insurance is usually only availble to Thai citizens.
Which Type of Insurance Should You get?
The answer comes down to these three points:
- How long do you plan to stay in Thailand?
- What do you expect from your insurance?
- What is your budget?
If you plan to stay in Thailand for many years, it can be best to get health insurance from the get go.
On the other hand, if you’re only here for a short time (less than a year), travel insurance is a better option.
If you plan to live in Thailand without health insurance, you can get either travel insurance or Covid-19 insurance to just get the required proof of insurance.
Travel insurance is slightly more expensive than Covid-19 insurance but comes with better coverage.
If you already have health insurance but you can’t use it as a proof of insurance, you can just get Covid-19 insurance separately since it’s the cheapest.
How Long Do You Need to Have Health Insurance?
The Thailand Government expects you to have Covid-19 coverage for the entirety of your stay in Thailand based on your visa stamp.
For example, if you get a non-b visa that initially allows you to stay in Thailand for 90 days, then, your insurance should at least cover you for 90 days during your stay in Thailand.
If you come to Thailand with a long-term visa, extension of stay, or a re-entry permit that allows you to stay in Thailand for over a year, your insurance should come with one year of coverage.
If you choose to buy travel insurance or Covid-19 insurance, you need to plan your time well since they will ask for either a departure date or date of arrival in Thailand.
Therefore, it’s best to book or check your flights to get an exact departure date before buying insurance and get a certificate of entry after that.
Which Covid-19 Insurance Should You Get as a Retiree?
If you come to Thailand with a retirement visa, your options are more limited. You need to get a health insurance plan that both passes the requirements for the visa and comes with sufficient Covid-19 coverage.
In addition, it can be a challenge for retirees to get health insurance because of the premiums.
However, there’s a specific plan for retirees that satisfies the requirements for both the visa and the certificate of entry. It’s basically a health insurance plan that comes with a high deductible of at least 200,000 baht.
You can get it from MisterPrakan. However, the plan is only available for those who are younger than 75 years old.
What You Should Know Before Buying Covid-19 Insurance
There are some additional points you should know before buying any insurance with Covid-19 coverage for your proof of insurance.
Choose Your Provider
As mentioned several times in the article, not all insurance providers are able to give you a proof of insurance as required by the Thai government.
For other insurance providers that aren’t mentioned in this article, you should check with them before making a purchase.
Unless you only want to get health insurance to get a certificate of entry, you should read the fine print to understand what coverage you really get.
Remember that price shouldn’t be the only factor for buying insurance, it’s more about what you really get.
Unless it’s a comprehensive health insurance plan, the cost of vaccinations is unlikely to be included in your insurance plan.
However, it is also highly possible that the Thai government will vaccinate you free of charge in the future.
Covid-19 coverage usually comes with a 14-day waiting period, which means you need to wait for at least 14 days before the insurance company pays for your Covid-19 treatment.
Even if some plans do not come with a waiting period, they won’t pay if you already have Covid-19 by the time the coverage period starts.
If you are asymptomatic, the insurance company might not pay unless it is approved by a medical doctor or you get treatment at the hospital.
Testing costs should be covered by your insurance as long as it is medically necessary.
This means the insurance company may not pay if you get a test without approval from a doctor.
If you want to be sure, you should get prior approval before getting tested.
Now, on to You
We hope that this article answers everything you need to know when it comes to proof of health insurance to come to Thailand.
Please also note that while we are trying our best to make this article as accurate as possible, mistake still do happen. In addition, insurance policies and Thailand regulations are subject to change, especially when related to Covid-19.
It is always recommended to read the fine print and check with your insurance provider before making a purchase.