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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawVisa NewsIs Insurance a Good Idea for Foreigners in Thailand?

Is Insurance a Good Idea for Foreigners in Thailand?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Insurance again but not in the context we usually do on this channel. 

I am not talking about Retirement Insurance specifically; there are other videos on this channel where we discuss that at length. This is just kind of an overarching video. Again I don't mean exactly to editorialize but I have had some comments on our channel and I also read this article here recently which I will get into in a moment and it has basically caused me to ask myself the question; pose the question sort of as a thought experiment if you will, "Is It just generally a good idea for foreigners to be insured in Thailand, especially medically insured?”

The reason I bring this up is for example we had a commentor on one of my videos and they said, I am paraphrasing this, but "I am going to leave Thailand and move to Cambodia so I don't have to deal with all this Medical Insurance stuff associated with the Thai Retirement Visa."  and I, I was kind of moderating the channel at that particular moment. We do have other staff that sometimes answers questions on our channel; it may not necessarily be me.  I tend to go ahead and if it is me I try to go ahead and put my initials in there when I want to be specific that is coming from me, but basically my response to that was "Well Cambodia has some issues with medical infrastructure. It just isn't as sophisticated a jurisdiction with respect to Medical Services it can provide in that particular country," and the response to that was "Oh it doesn't matter.  If something happens to me, I will just come back to Thailand and deal with it as and when needed."

Well that is the problem with accidents and health problems. They don't exactly come up in a predictable way and I bring up now this recent article that I found on global news.ca and the article is titled:  With no Travel Insurance, BC Family Struggles to Bring Injured Father Home From Thailand. Quoting directly, ”A 66 year-old Vancouver Island native lies in hospital with a head injury he sustained at his wife's home in Thailand."  Quoting further, "Treacher 66, apparently the name of the man in question, has been a regular visitor to the country since he married a Thai woman a few years ago but in September he fell off a ladder at his wife's house and ended up with a critical head injury. An initial brain operation saved his life but complications have kept him in the hospital."  Quoting further, "Robson, who is apparently the person's daughter, says her dad didn't have a medical insurance plan to cover him in Thailand and she and her sisters have been paying for his ongoing care which cost about $2,000 a week but bringing Treacher home is going to cost a lot more."  Quoting further, "Our Embassies have very limited things they can do for us daughter Cherril Hoot said. It is not like the movies where you are going to run there and they are going to get you home. It doesn't work that way.”. Travel expert Claire Newell says Treacher's experience serves as a lesson to other travelers." 

I wanted to bring this up because first of all this is really a tragic state of affairs. This poor gentleman, an accident befell him and he is incapacitated and it is costing his family a great deal of money. It is just not a good situation overall and I certainly have that family in my thoughts. 

That being said, I read this and I thought immediately of that comment and the reason I wanted to make this video is, Look! Things happen. They happen unpredictably and in a country, especially where one is a foreign national and may not speak the language, or have limited capacity to deal with folks in the language, if an accident befalls, and let me be clear many, many of the Thai hospitals have English-speaking staff, that is not necessarily the issue, but this isn't the best place or region for a westerner to have a major medical issue and be stuck trying to survive for lack of better term.

So for this reason and others, I just think that generally the overall notion of having Insurance when coming either for a short period of time or living in Thailand, it is just generally in my opinion a pretty good idea.