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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawA Sneak Peek at Thai Retirement Visa Insurance?

A Sneak Peek at Thai Retirement Visa Insurance?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Thai Retirement Visas specifically in the past there has been some discussion and there seem to be some rather credible rumors or credible anecdotal evidence if you will going around that basically would seem to suggest that the Authorities here in the Kingdom were looking at some sort of insurance scheme associated with retirees for utilizing Thai O/A Retirement Visas here in the Kingdom and basically to this point, it has mostly been speculation. I think that speculation is relatively well founded because I think it is logical to presume under the current paradigm at Thai Immigration that they want some sort of insurance scheme to go ahead and cover the retirees that are living in the Kingdom long-term in the event that they become incapacitated or they have an accident or become hospitalized, as the system does not particularly want to absorb the cost of maintaining the health care of those folks simply because they were in Thailand when something happened to befall them.  

That being said, in a recent article and it is not specifically on point with respect to Retirement Visa insurance, but I think it does provide some insight into what Retirement Visa insurance could look like should it come to pass.  

In a recent article from the Bangkok Post, article is entitled TAT Enlists Companies to Provide Insurance for Tourists. This is the  Quoting directly, ”The Tourism Authority of Thailand, TAT,  has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with three leading insurance companies to provide an insurance policy "Thai Travel Shield" for foreign tourists.  The insurance plan, an online insurance package, provides coverage of up to 2 million baht with premium starting from 400 Baht per trip up to 7 days." Quoting directly, “Further, once they go through the Immigration process, the insurance will be active 24/7 and tourists can contact a Call Center with staff who are able to speak 40 languages to assist in the event of accident, sickness, flight cancellations, lost luggage or even death until they leave Thailand." 

Know what does all of this mean? Nothing specifically on point with respect to Retirement Visas specifically but I think it is fairly safe to assume that a Retirement Visa scheme if you will, would look very similar to this Tourist Visa scheme however it would be elongated. I suspect the reason we still haven't heard anything concrete on this is because there are still negotiations going back and forth between the Government and Insurance Providers and I also suspect that the Insurance Providers are going through their calculations in order to basically come up with some kind of formula where they can provide something akin to a flat rate for all prospective retirees that would also be beneficial to them.

So what is interesting to me is because the retirement age is 50, the younger retirees who would be required to go ahead and get insurance in order to get a Retirement Visa, would in a sense be contributing actuarially if you will, to the older retirees who may be using the policies. In a sense, it is somewhat similar to the American Social Security structure where you know the workers are paying in while the pensioners are taking out. In sort of a sense the younger retirees would be paying in premiums and the older retirees might actually be using the Insurance. 

The other thing to keep in mind with respect to a prospective policy of insurance of this type is I don't suspect it is going to provide any particular coverage; things like outpatient or anything like that. The way that I look at this is Thai Immigration is very concerned with the absorbed costs associated with maintaining the health care of the retirees in the Kingdom when some sort of accident or disease or something should befall them and for that reason I think this is not exactly one off healthcare but I think it is healthcare that is sort of an emergency nature just basically so individuals that are retired in Thailand who have substantial health issues, if they are unable to pay, they basically can be you know for lack of better term they can be brought up to enough of a state of health to be able to be sent back to their home country presumably in order to be able to afford themselves of the health benefits that are inherent to their nationality. For example in the United States, a retiree who is eligible for Medicare will probably not get near the coverage in Thailand that they can get if they were sent back home, but getting them back home if they are indigent can be problematic.  Therefore sort of a bridging mechanism needs to be created and that is what I think that this insurance would be, to get those kind of folks home.

I think that this is the impetus for this policy and for that reason, that will probably be what a health care package looks like associated with Thai Retirement Visas.  It should also be noted, I suspect that this will be something, it was noted in that article that this insurance can be applied for online and if that is the case, you can go ahead and get the insurance policy and I suspect down the road, proof of that policy will be required in an application for a Thai Retirement Visa at a Thai Embassy or Thai Consulate abroad.