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New automatic health insurance for foreign tourists

New automatic health insurance for foreign tourists

Since the onset of the pandemic and strict requirements for health coverage for all incoming foreign tourist, Thai firms have stepped up and provided cost-effective Covid-19 health insurance cover which ranges from ฿30,000 to ฿50,000 a year. This also includes accident and overall health insurance cover for those insured.

Under a new law, to be promulgated soon in the Royal Gazette and formulated by the Minister of Tourism and Sports, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, all incoming tourists when the kingdom finally reopens with unrestricted access, will automatically assume health insurance cover when they arrive on payment of a tourist levy priced at ฿300

Health insurance coverage is a necessity as foreigners cannot receive free treatment for Covid-19 illness

In addition, foreigners in the kingdom particularly stranded tourists who run the risk of living without health insurance cover, are facing catastrophic financial problems if they happen to contract the Covid-19 virus.

In May last year, Ms Narumol Pinyosinwat, then a spokesperson for the government and who later took on the role as Deputy Labour Minister confirmed this: ‘Regarding tourists expense in medical treatment, they must take care of that on their own,’ she announced. 

Similar statements have been made by senior officials at the Ministry of Public Health emphasising the need to reserve public health resources for Thai nationals.

However, hospitals are ethically bound to treat foreign patients and this was acknowledged by Khananart Muennu, a Ministry of Tourism and Sports spokesman, who explained that nevertheless they will be required to pay either directly or through having the appropriate health cover.

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