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Move to make health insurance mandatory for long-stay visas

Move to make health insurance mandatory for long-stay visas

Foreigners with one-year Non-Immigrant Visa “O-A” (Long Stay) will have to compulsorily arrange health insurance, according to new proposals of a key committee.

The criterion under the Immigration Act 1979 was approved by the Medical Hub Committee, Dr Kittisak Klapdee, adviser to the Minister of Public Health, said on Sunday.

Kittisak was assigned by Public Health Minister Dr Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn to join Tourism and Sport vice minister Ittipol Khunplome at the Medical Hub Committee’s second annual meeting, which approved in principle the amendment of the criteria for one-year long-stay visas.

Once it comes into effect, foreigners having the visa will be required to have Thai insurance policies covering their entire stay in Thailand with minimum Bt40,000 out-patient medical bill coverage and minimum Bt400,000 in-patient medical bill coverage.

Those already having overseas insurance policies that meet the minimum requirement would be exempted from subscribing to Thai insurance policies. They will be able to apply for long-stay visas using their foreign insurance policies, he said.

Details and guidelines pertaining to the amendment were being jointly formulated by the Public Health Ministry, the Foreign Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the Immigration Bureau, the Office of Insurance Commission, the Thai General Insurance Association, and the Thai Life Assurance Association. At the next stage, it would be forwarded to the Cabinet for approval as a formal policy, he added.

The amended criterion is aimed at ensuring health protection for long-stay visa holders – mostly elderly foreigners – and also benefit the public and private hospitals in the country, he added.

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