(Updated last January 24, 2020)
Starting October 31, 2019, foreigners who are applying for and entering Thailand with a non-immigrant O-A visa must show that they have valid health insurance covering their period of stay.
Non-immigrant O-A visa is a long-stay visa that can be applied at Thai embassies or consulates overseas. Applicants for one-year retirement visas must be 50 and up. They need police clearance, medical certificate, and now health insurance. They must either show evidence of monthly income of at least 65,000 baht or balance of at least 800,000 baht in their own bank account or Thai bank account for their application to be granted. This visa allows the visa holder to stay in Thailand for one uninterrupted stay from the date of arrival or entry.
The new rule specifies that the applicant or visa holder must have health insurance not be less than 40,000 baht for outpatient and 400,000 baht for inpatient medical fees. Policies can either be purchased from domestic or foreign insurers, but the sum of foreign policies must not be less than the amount stipulated for Thai policies.
By requiring foreign retirees to have health insurance, they can be ensured that they will be taken care of when they get ill and in case of an accident. This measure will solve over 100 million baht fees left unpaid by foreign patients. The measure will prevent foreigners from doing a runner for hospital fees.
The new rules will be applied to those who are applying for the non-immigrant O-A visa from the Thai embassy or consulate in their home countries, for those who enter the country for the first time with non-immigrant O-A visa and those who wish to extend their non-immigrant O-A visas inside Thailand.
According to the immigration office, only foreign retirees holding non-immigration O-A visa will be affected. They will be required to present their insurance policies with the remaining coverage period for their stay or they would be denied entry or refusal of visa extension. According to the order, health insurance is not required for those applying for an extension of stay of a non-immigrant category O visa based on retirement or Thai wife.
Here are some of the insurance companies that the applicants may obtain their health insurance to:
There are foreign retirees who are not eligible to have health insurance due to old age or due to pre-existing medical conditions. Here are the options that you can do to avoid the health insurance requirement and still obtain the 1-year visa extension: