Health Insurance For Retirees In Thailand

Health Insurance For Retirees Thailand: What You Need To Know

If you are a retiree and are thinking of moving to Thailand, it is important that you understand the healthcare system here. The good news is that Thailand has a well-developed healthcare system, and there are many options available for retirees. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the things you need to know about health insurance for retirees in Thailand. We will also provide some helpful tips on how to choose the right plan for you. So, if you are considering retiring in Thailand, please keep reading!

On average, ex-pat health insurance in Thailand costs $2,000 annually while a private health insurance plan for families runs around $10,000 per year. This is the average price across a broad number of plan types, coverage degrees, and ages.

Key Takeaways

  • Thailand has a well-developed healthcare system with many options for retirees.
  • You will need to purchase health insurance if you plan to retire in Thailand, as most public hospitals do not accept foreign patients.
  • When selecting a health insurance plan, consider your age and medical history, the coverage offered, and the cost. Make sure to read the fine print and ask questions before making a final decision.
Health Insurance For Retirees In Thailand

The Health Coverage You Need to Retire in Thailand

Who is required to have health insurance?

Those traveling to Thailand, whether it be for the first time or seeking an extension of their stay, should take heed: updated regulations now apply to non-immigrant O-A visa holders. Applicants must obtain visas from a Thai embassy or consulate in advance as well as abide by any guidelines issued within the country during their visit.

Who is NOT required to have health insurance?

According to the immigration office, the change will only have an impact on retirees from other countries who hold a non-immigration O-A visa. They will be required to present their insurance policies, showing the remaining coverage period for their stay, in order to avoid having their entry or visa extension applications denied. In accordance with the order, applicants for an extension of stay on a non-immigrant category O visa due to retirement or marriage to a Thai national are exempt from the requirement that they have health insurance.

If I am not eligible for health insurance, what are my options?

Retirees from other countries are often met with the tough reality of not qualifying for health insurance. But, that doesn’t mean a one-year visa extension is out of reach! There are still ways to get around this requirement and gain access to healthcare in your retirement: shop around online for private coverage, speak directly to an insurance agent about more lenient plans, ask friends or family if they know any alternative options available – the possibilities don’t stop there!

The following is a list of the things that you can do to get around the requirement for health insurance while still obtaining the one-year visa extension:

1. First-Time Applicant

If this is your first time applying for a visa, you may be able to bypass the need for medical insurance by applying for a non-immigrant O visa instead of an O-A visa.

This non-immigrant O visa must be obtained from a Thai consulate or embassy in your country of residence or country of citizenship.

  • Travel is “in view of retirement,” which is what you’ll write on your application.
  • Pensioners from some countries are automatically granted an O-visa, a non-immigrant visa.
  • The O non-immigrant visa will get you into Thailand. In order to meet this requirement, you should have 800,000 THB in a Thai bank account or a letter of income from your embassy.
  • You can apply for a one-year retirement visa extension during the final 30 days of your current permit to remain in the country.

2. Currently Holding Non-immigrant O-A Visa or O-A Visa Extension

You have only one choice if you are already in Thailand and have a non-immigrant O-A visa or an extended stay. To avoid overstaying, you must either leave Thailand before your visa expires or cancel it.

  • You could go back home and try to get a non-immigrant O visa there.
  • Instead of returning home, you could simply visit one of Thailand’s neighboring countries and come back as a tourist. You have the option of returning on a 30-day visa waiver or a 60-day tourist visa. You can tell the immigration officer upon your return that you plan to switch to a non-immigrant O visa due to retirement if they ask.
  • After visiting Thailand again as a tourist, you will quickly arrange your Thai bank account so that you can meet the financial requirement.
  • The “change of visa” form requires you to list your reason for changing visas. You’re retired, so you should apply for an O nonimmigrant visa. The process will take about two weeks to complete. If you want to make sure everything is in order, call your local immigration office before going in. Changing your status from tourist to non-immigrant O visa can be tricky–some offices require more proof of financial stability than just monthly income statements.
  • You cannot apply for the 1-year extension until you are either halfway through your new non-immigrant O visa or in the final 30 days of your current visa.
  • When applying for the 1-year extension, all that is required is proof of residency and proof of financial stability. No need for a medical certificate, background check, or health insurance.

3. Changing from a Non-immigrant O-A visa to Marriage Visa

  • There have been occasions when the individual in possession of a non-immigrant visa or a visa extension is married to a Thai national. In this scenario, you also have the option of switching to a visa for married couples.
  • The cancellation of the non-immigrant O-A visa or any extensions should come first.
  • You are required to leave Thailand in order to submit an application for a new non-immigrant O visa based on marriage to a Thai embassy in one of Thailand’s neighboring countries.
  • You will return to Thailand and arrange the necessary financial arrangements.
  • You can apply for a one-year extension of your non-immigrant visa based on your Thai wife if you do so within 90 days of the expiration of your current visa.
  • The prerequisite for having health insurance does not apply to the filing of an application for a marriage visa valid for one year or an extension of stay based on marriage.

New Requirement for Retirees

The Thai retirement visa application can be processed either in your home country or in Thailand. All of the required documents must be submitted to the Thai embassy or consulate in your country.

What is a Non-Immigrant O-A Visa?

The O-A non-immigrant visa is a long-stay visa that can be applied for at Thai embassies and consulates located outside of Thailand. Applicants for retirement visas valid for one year must be at least 50 years old. They need a medical certificate and a police clearance, and now they have to have health insurance.

If they want their application to be approved, they need to provide proof that they have a monthly income of at least 65,000 baht or that they have a balance of at least 800,000 baht in either their own bank account or a bank account in Thailand. The holder of this visa is permitted to remain in Thailand for a single continuous stay beginning on the date of their arrival or entry into the country.

What is the new requirement for the Thai retirement O-A visa?

According to the new regulation, the applicant or the holder of the visa is required to have health insurance with a minimum coverage of 40,000 baht for outpatient medical fees and 400,000 baht for inpatient medical fees. Policies can be purchased either from domestic insurers or from insurers based outside of Thailand; however, the total value of foreign policies cannot be less than the amount that is required for Thai policies.

When retirees from other countries are required to have health insurance, it is possible to give them the peace of mind that comes with knowing that they will be cared for in the event that they become ill or are injured. Because of this measure, over 100 million baht in fees owed by foreign patients will finally be collected. Because of this measure, non-citizens won’t be able to skip out on paying their hospital bills.

The Minimum Requirements for a Thailand Retirement Visa

In order to qualify for a Non-Immigrant O visa for retirement purposes, applicants need to be at least 50 years old and have a monthly pension income of at least 65,000 baht (approximately 20,000 NOK after-tax).

Required Documents

  • A passport or other acceptable travel document with a minimum validity of six months.
  • A recent photograph of the individual applying, taken within the previous half year.
  • Financial evidence: In order to qualify, the applicant must have a bank statement balance of at least 800,000 Baht – OR an income certificate with a monthly salary (after taxes) of not less than 65,000 Baht/ 20,000 NOK. For example, this could come from NAV or an insurance company (NOT selvangivelse or skatteoppgjr.) Another option would be a combination of a deposit account plus monthly income totaling not less than 800,000 Baht.
  • A copy of the hotel reservation, the rental agreement, or the deed must be provided as proof of accommodation. In the event that you will be living with a family, you will need to provide a letter of invitation from the family as well as a copy of their Thai identification card or house registration that has been signed. The name of the person applying must be written down in a legible manner.
  • Health Insurance Policy Certificate with an outpatient benefit of at least 40,000 Thai Baht (or its equivalent in another currency) and an inpatient benefit of at least 400,000 Thai Baht (or its equivalent in another currency) (or equivalent in another currency). Additionally, the insurance must cover any and all costs associated with medical treatments, including at least 100,000 USD worth of COVID-19.
  • A photocopy of the applicant’s residence card or some other form of documentation demonstrating that they are authorized to live in Norway (only for non-Norwegian and passport holders)

Where to Get Retirement Health Insurance in Thailand

While the Thai government doesn’t recite a definitive list of companies from which you can get health insurance plans, as long as your chosen provider is an approved insurer and offers the coverage you need to obtain a retirement visa, you’re good to go. In other words, if you want a retirement visa in Thailand, you aren’t restricted to only certain medical insurers.

O-A visa insurance can be obtained from companies in your home country or other nations. Thus, you should have many opportunities to compare shops and find the best price and value for your needs while staying in Thailand. If you have a choice of providers, this could help save money overall.

The cost of medical insurance for retirement in Thailand will vary depending on your health history, current health, and the type of coverage you need. You should always get multiple quotes from foreign and domestic providers to figure out what you’ll need to pay for your own coverage.

If you want to retire in Thailand, you only need a reliable income and health insurance. However, if you want to move here before retirement, then ex-pat health insurance is required. 

If you want to know more about the truth about healthcare in Thailand for ex-pats, make sure to read an article I wrote here, this will help you to understand the Thai healthcare system and know what to do if you get sick while living in Thailand.

Public Health Insurance in Thailand

Public health insurance in Thailand is an important part of the social security system, providing coverage for people who are unable to afford private medical care, here are some of the details regarding it:

The pros of public health insurance in Thailand

The public sector in Thailand is home to more than a thousand different hospitals. The vast majority of Thai nationals seek medical treatment at public hospitals due to the high quality of care offered by these establishments. Having said that, waiting times can be lengthy, particularly in the more populous cities, and there are fewer conveniences and creature comforts available than in private hospitals.

Even though waiting times in more rural hospitals may be shorter, the quality of care provided is frequently of a lower standard. However, consultations are typically brief and conducted in a hasty manner, and this is something that characterizes hospitals in both urban and rural settings.

The cons of public health insurance in Thailand

There are still problems in Thailand’s health sector, such as how to pay for and provide services for the elderly, the significant gaps in urban primary health care, the risks of relying on general taxes to pay for health care during an economic downturn, and the risks of internal migration of health-care professionals in response to increased demand for health services from international patients after the 2015 ASEAN Economic Community.

Private Health Insurance in Thailand

There is a possibility that you will have access to the public healthcare system in Thailand; however, it is much more common for ex-pats to have private health insurance, which provides a variety of benefits such as the following:

  • Wait times at private facilities are significantly shorter than those at public ones.
  • Superior medical care utilizing the most recent and cutting-edge technology
  • A greater proportion of English-speaking staff and medical professionals.
  • Try to steer clear of any unforeseen expenses.
  • Access to more than just the hospital to which you are assigned.

If you are interested in purchasing ex-pat health insurance in Thailand, Rabbit Care provides a wide range of healthcare plans sourced from reputable partners to ensure that you can find the policy that best suits your needs. 

What Does Health Insurance in Thailand Cover?

Coverage of Thai Public Health Insurance

Thailand has one of the most forward-thinking medical care systems in the world. In 2002, it became possible for all Thai citizens to have access to healthcare through a national health insurance program. The great majority of Thais are now covered by this progressive insurance system.

If you work for the government in Thailand, you and your family are eligible for medical coverage through the civil service welfare system. If you work in the private sector, your employer will deduct money from your paycheck to fund social security benefits that you may be eligible for. People who come from other countries or have lived in Thailand long-term and work in the private sector may also qualify for this coverage.

If you don’t meet the requirements to participate in any of Thailand’s healthcare systems, then private health insurance is mandatory. The good news is that there are many affordable plans to choose from. Also, most of Thailand’s top private hospitals accept patients with private insurance coverage. In fact, people from all over the world come to receive treatment at these facilities because of the excellent care that they provide.

Coverage of Thai Private Health Insurance

In Thailand, particularly in the more populous urban areas of the country, one can find a large number of private hospitals. In Bangkok, approximately 60 percent of all available hospital beds are managed by private hospitals. Patients can expect shorter wait times and more recent medical technology when they seek treatment at one of these private institutions.

Even though there is no assurance that you will be seen by a physician at a public facility who speaks English or another foreign language during the course of your visit, the vast majority of staff members working in private settings are multilingual, and interpreter services are available.

Cost of Health Insurance in Thailand

Thailand is one of the most sought-after destinations in Southeast Asia, with its warm climate and gorgeous beaches. It’s not just famous for its tropical weather, though—the country also has a thriving economy and offers plenty of opportunities for ex-pats to experience life in a new country.

But there are some things you’ll want to know about before moving there, including the cost of health insurance in Thailand.

The average annual cost for health insurance in Thailand is $2,000 USD for ex-pats and $10,000 USD for private insurance premiums per family. The demographics used to calculate these rates include a wide variety of plans, coverage requirements, and ages.

Health Insurance For Retirees In Thailand FAQs

Do I need health insurance to retire in Thailand?

If you’re thinking about retiring in Thailand, then you’ll need health insurance to cover your medical expenses. Thailand has some of the best hospitals in the world, but they can be expensive. You should consider getting a plan that covers both outpatient and inpatient hospital costs so that you can get the treatment you need without worrying about the costs.

What do retired people use for health insurance?

Retired people use health insurance for many of the same reasons as younger people. They need it to cover their medical expenses, and they would prefer not to pay for them out of pocket.

As we age, our healthcare needs change. Retirees often need more preventive care, such as regular check-ups and preventative screenings. They also may need more prescription drugs and other medications to manage chronic conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure.

Can foreigners buy health insurance in Thailand?

Private medical insurance plans, either domestic or international health insurance, are available for purchase by ex-pats who do not have jobs in their host country or who want to receive medical care in private hospitals. Those who are planning to retire as ex-pats in Thailand will be required to sign up for a private insurance plan or pay the associated costs out of their own pockets.

Can I leave Thailand on a retirement visa?

In the event that the retiree is not present in Thailand at the time when the report is due, the counting for the 90 days will begin once more upon the retiree’s subsequent return to Thailand. If you intend to travel in and out of Thailand during the year that your visa is valid, you will need a multiple re-entry permit in order to do so and prevent your visa from being canceled. You can apply for this permit at the Thai Embassy in your home country.

Where can ex-pats get free healthcare?

Due to their contributions to the Universal Coverage Scheme, expatriates in Thailand who are employed are eligible for free public healthcare (UCS). Everyone who works in Thailand, whether they are a citizen or an ex-pat, is required to pay 5% of their salaries into the Thai social security scheme. This money is used to finance the public health insurance network in Thailand.


Retiring in Thailand is an exciting prospect for many people, with its tropical climate, stunning beaches, and vibrant culture. Before you can start enjoying all that the country has to offer, though, it’s essential to make sure you have a health insurance plan in place. Make sure to do your research and find the best coverage for your needs so that you can enjoy your retirement in Thailand without worrying about the cost of medical bills.

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