For foreign families living in Thailand, the Universal Coverage Scheme, a government-funded healthcare insurance is not applicable to foreign citizens. As such, having a family health insurance plan in Thailand can be a worthy investment to safeguard you and your family against costly healthcare expenditure. If you have already subscribed to a health insurance plan in your home country, it may only be viable for a certain period of your time abroad. Hence, a local family health insurance will be most relevant and efficient for you.
Here are 5 things that you should know about family health insurance in Thailand:
Only Employees are covered by social security
If you are the sole breadwinner in the family, it will be helpful to know that you are at least covered by a government healthcare policy through social security insurance. Although you are not given the same privilege as Thai citizens, if you work legally in Thailand, you’ll have health insurance through a 5% monthly deduction of your gross salary. This will allow you to have free medical care and medicine in public hospitals. But the healthcare facilities are probably going to be more crowded, with limited medications and a language barrier. As a parent, wanting the best for your child extends to their health. It will be even more difficult in rural areas with poorer facilities. You will also be given only 3 hospitals to opt for in this scheme. Given the limitation social security entails, you may want to choose private insurance as well for better healthcare services.
Exclusion and benefits differ according to the provider and the plan
Knowing your needs should be the first priority when you are searching for a suitable family health insurance. Starting a family is a daunting yet satisfying experience that will use up your energy. So pick your family health insurance wisely so that it will facilitate, and not add up the troubles, when health issues arise especially concerning your little ones.
For an expanding family, a maternity coverage can be offered in an insurance plan and usually requires opting for a more premium plan. The important thing to check is the waiting period on maternity coverage, for most providers the waiting period is a full 12 months, however a few providers offer a waiting period of just 10 months. It’s also essential to know whether newborn care is covered for those crucial first 25 days of your baby’s life.
Another benefit you may wish to consider is whether or not your health insurance plan provides a second medical opinion. If your health insurance provider has an in-house doctor, they could offer a second medical opinion service that allows you to consult two doctors over a specific illness or set of symptoms. This ensures you have peace of mind for your and your family’s health.
For example, patients or parents may seek two medical opinions because they are unsure of their current doctor’s diagnosis. This could be when you or your child have been offered an ambiguous diagnosis, a serious diagnosis, controversial treatment or when current treatment is ineffective. In this case, the patient or parent decides to take matters into their own hands and sees another doctor for a second opinion.
Some health insurance providers will offer a service that can offer advice on the best way forward in situations like this. If your health insurance provider has a medical referral service, they can refer you to the best doctors and specialists for you and your child’s needs. This is especially important for expat parents who are unsure of the local healthcare terrain and want international standard care.
Are congenital anomalies covered?
Congenital anomalies, also known as birth defects, congenital disorders or congenital malformations, are structural or functional anomalies that exist at or before birth. They can be identified prenatally, at birth or detected later in infancy (i.e., hearing defects).
Some health insurance companies cover congenital anomalies, whereas others do not cover them at all. If the mother of the child has held the health insurance plan for the full waiting period, under some comprehensive plans, newborns can be added with no medical underwriting as long as the insurance provider is informed that the parents intend for the child to be covered from the day of birth. Simply, this means that under a select few health insurance plans, no assessment of current medical conditions or history is required for your newborn’s coverage, and thus congenital anomalies will be covered. However this is dependent on the provider and the plan, so it is imperative to check the details with your health insurance company.
A local insurer can still provide international coverage
Choosing a local insurance plan should not necessarily be at the expense of healthcare coverage when in your home country. Some health insurance plans will cover the expenses in your home country and also internationally should you opt to seek treatment elsewhere or if you are in your home country when health issues arise. An insurance plan that provides an emergency evacuation plan will also ensure that you and your family have access to the best medical facilities available.
The more people, the less you pay per individual
Through group insurance, you are usually given a discount if you have a certain number of family members, usually 4 or more. That’s why family health insurance can be a good investment even if you are covered by social security. Social security is usually the last resort, given its time-consuming waiting list and limited hospital choices.
Private health insurance ensures that you and your family are given access to outstanding international healthcare facilities and services. If you have children, they will probably require a doctor or urgent care more frequently than a relatively healthy adult, whether it’s for routine vaccinations or they’ve caught a bug at school. So, find out if the size of your family affects the cost of health insurance so that you can optimise it from your insurance provider.