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Thai Retirement Visa Insurance Issues for "High Risk" Retirees

Transcript of the above video:

For those who have followed this channel with any frequency over the past few days and weeks will probably be aware that there have been changes with respect to the Retirement Visa category specifically and here recently there have been some rather major changes most notably with respect to the fact that retirees are now required to have Health Insurance in order to maintain their retiree status. And a question that has popped up, it has been mentioned in more than one publication which I'll get to here momentarily, but a question which has popped up with some frequency is “what if I cannot get insurance?", and that is a good question because there are individuals who are either of a certain age or who have pre-existing conditions which would preclude them from being granted insurance by Insurance Companies both here in Thailand and possibly abroad. 

In recent articles with respect to this issue, there has been some discussion on this topic. In a recent article from ttrweekly.com, the headline is Hefty Insurance Hovers over Thai Visa. Quoting directly, "Foreigners over the age of 70 will find it difficult to secure adequate insurance coverage or it will be prohibitively expensive which could result in fewer retiree travelers in that age group entering the country on this particular Visa. One company quoted an annual premium of 81,000 Thai baht for 70 year-olds but for the 75 and over age bracket the cover was only for customers renewing and not for new accounts.  So something to bear in mind with respect to retirement visas, if you're getting up there in age you might want to get into the system early and often, in order to be able to renew it later otherwise you might be precluded from getting in, so something to keep in mind there.

In another article from that Phuket news, that is thephuketnews.com, the article is entitled: Cabinet Approves Mandatory Health insurance for Long-stay Visas.  There was some further information:  Quoting directly, "The relevant authorities might consider requiring them to have higher deposits in bank accounts so as to make sure that they have enough to live on during their stay in the Kingdom of Thailand he said."  The "he" there is Doctor Nattawuth Prasert-siripong, Chief of the Department of Health Service Support, and “them” he was talking about there was retirees, specifically the retirees in these upper age brackets who may have pre-existing health conditions. So what you may see, and I think this sounds like something we could see rather soon, which is requiring them to have higher deposits in bank accounts. So I can definitely see a situation arise where they say, "Okay you are of an older age. You are unable to basically obtain insurance. We are going to go ahead and say that you need X amount more money in your bank account maintained on a yearly basis on balance in order to go ahead and continue to be granted Retirement Visa extensions here in the Kingdom. So while I do think that there is some credibility to the notion that we might lose some of the older people who may go elsewhere because they can't get the insurance they need, I think we will probably soon see a regulatory "correction" for lack of a better word or regulatory amendment I should say, which will go ahead and allow for those who are over a certain age to basically deposit more money so as to go ahead and extend their retiree status here in the Kingdom.