Health Insurance for Expats in Thailand

If you have moved to Thailand, you can rest assured that you will be well taken care of for any medical emergencies that may arise. The healthcare system, as well as public health insurance in Thailand, are both of excellent quality.

And for those who wish to avoid waiting times, and have access to a more seamless healthcare experience, the private sector of Thai medical insurance is always an option. This type of health insurance is different from the Thailand travel insurance which covers tourists and visitors only for travel-related events.

Expat Health Insurance in Thailand

Expats in Thailand have the following options for health insurance, depending on their residential status:

Public Thailand health insurance for working expats. Expats who are employed in Thailand are enrolled in the Universal Coverage Scheme (UCS), which provides free healthcare through contributions that are deducted from the employee’s salary.

Private health insurance. Expats who are not employed or those who want health coverage in private hospitals can purchase a private medical insurance scheme, either local or international. Expats who retire in Thailand will have to subscribe to a private insurance plan or pay the costs from their own pocket. You can find international health insurance for Thailand through Insubuy or International Citizens Insurance.

Public Health Insurance in Thailand

Working expats in Thailand have access to free public healthcare through contributions to the Universal Coverage Scheme (UCS). All workers in Thailand (expat or citizen) contribute 5% of their salaries into the Thai social security scheme, which then covers the public Thailand health insurance network.

As an expat, once you are enrolled in the public healthcare system, you will be assigned to a hospital, in which you will receive free treatment. If you go to another hospital or decide to receive private healthcare, you will have to pay out-of-pocket.

Benefits of public health insurance in Thailand

If you receive treatment into your assigned hospital, you do not have to pay anything. You can just show your Social Security Number and ID.

Medical services are of good quality since the doctors in public hospitals are highly skilled.

You do not need to pay anything extra, as it is covered by your contributions to social security.

Drawbacks of public health insurance in Thailand

Like in all public hospitals, the waiting times can be long and the hospitals crowded, so that means a short visit.

Treatment is limited only into the hospital you are assigned to. If a preferred doctor does now work at your assigned hospital, you do not have coverage for a medical examination with them.

If you lose your job, you will no longer have free healthcare.

Private Health Insurance in Thailand

Expats in Thailand who are not eligible for public health insurance or who want a wider range of coverage can purchase private health insurance. If you get a private insurance plan for Thailand, you can receive treatment in any public or private hospitals. You will usually have to pay the cost of treatment upfront and then apply for reimbursement.

There are two main options when it comes to purchasing medical insurance for Thailand:

Purchasing a domestic plan. In this case, the coverage is limited only within Thai borders, and you will not be covered for any medical emergencies abroad.

Purchasing an international health insurance plan. You will have health coverage not only in Thailand but in other countries within the scope of your policy as well, for example, if you are travelling back to your home country or going on a vacation. You can purchase international insurance for Thailand (also known as expat medical insurance) from insurance brokers such as Insubuy or International Citizens Insurance, which allow you to browse different plans and companies to choose one that suits your needs.

Private healthcare in Thailand is of excellent quality. In fact, Thailand is considered a top destination for medical tourism due to its private hospitals, which can sometimes resemble a five-star hotel more than a medical facility.

Additionally, despite the high quality of care, treatment in a Thai private hospital does not cost as much as in certain Western countries such as the US, hence, the rise of medical tourism in Thailand. Still, private medical treatment is considerably higher than public healthcare.

Private hospitals also have shorter waiting times, are generally better equipped, and have a higher number of English speaking doctors and staff.

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