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Thailand is a tropical paradise with a buzzing economy. It is a popular destination for expats, who are looking for permanent relocation or short term stay. Healthcare and insurance are two important points that need consideration when you are moving to a new country. Though Thailand has social security services and public funded hospitals, most of the expats prefer to visit the private hospitals, whose fees run into a few thousand Bahts.
Though there is no compulsion for getting health insurance in Thailand, expats are advised against going insurance free. All the employees are covered by social security insurance in Thailand. Employers deduct five percent of the salary and contribute to the social security scheme of the government. These contributions are used to maintain the public hospital facilities in the country. So expats who are employed in Thailand are covered under the social security scheme.
There are different types of health insurance in Thailand, like the private insurance, public insurance and international insurance.
Most of the private insurance companies in the country provide local insurance. This type of insurance works only in Thailand and does not have any international coverage. The coverage amount is limited when compared to other countries and the age limits are stringent. However, the main advantage of opting for private insurance is, most of the world class hospitals in the country accept these policies. Since these hospitals deal with the private insurance companies on a daily basis, they do not require lengthy paper work to admit the patients.
All the workers in the country are covered under the public insurance. Workers contribute five percent of their income to the social security taxes out of which 1.5 percent is for medical coverage. Anyone who contributes to the social security taxes can avail free medical care at the public hospitals. The main disadvantage of public insurance is that the government run hospitals are often overcrowded which leads to long waiting times.
Some of the private companies offering health insurance in Thailand also offer international insurance plans. These plans are favoured mostly by the tourists and the expats. The major advantage of international plans is that they provide coverage anywhere in the world.