Medical Expenses for Travel Insurance Thailand

Medical expenses coverage can be beneficial if you encounter health issues while in Thailand. Certain reimbursements may assist in managing financial costs until your health situation is resolved. For a comprehensive understanding of what constitutes medical expenses coverage, refer to our blog on Medical Expenses Insurance.

medical coverage for Thailand

Is Medical Expense Insurance recommended for Thailand?

While not mandatory, it is highly recommended that you get medical expense coverage. Here are some main reasons why its a good idea.

 

  • Rising Medical Costs & Private Hospitals: Medical costs in Thailand are on the rise, especially if you are going to English speaking private hospitals. Even minor procedures can be a financial burden without insurance. Thailand has a well-developed network of private hospitals that offer excellent medical care. These hospitals typically charge more than public hospitals, but may have shorter wait times and more advanced equipment. When you are not in your home country and on holiday, it is best to stick with quality health care.

 

  • Peace of Mind: Having medical expense coverage can give you peace of mind knowing that you won’t be hit with a huge bill if you need medical attention while in Thailand. Nothing is worse than being on holiday and trying to contain your own medical costs. Relative to the price of travel insurance the coverage is worth it for a peaceful mind.
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Things you can consider:

 

  • What will you do in Thailand?: If you’re on a short trip and are generally healthy, you may decide to get basic medical expense coverage. However, if you’re on a longer trip this obviously increases your chances of a medical accident, so just based on that it is a wise investment.
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  • What Thailand activities will you partake in?: If you’re planning on doing any activities along the lines of motorbike riding, it’s especially important to have medical expense coverage. Motorbike rides are an extremely common way to get around in the city, and if you go on an island holiday you will probably end up renting one, so just from this along it is high recommended to get some sort of medical coverage. Read more on the importance of travel insurance for motorbike accidents.
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How much Medical Expenses coverage do you need for Thailand?

This depends on the medical accident that you suffer, however to decide on your coverage in the worst case scenario. Let’s take a look at the medical costs in Thailand at private hospitals.

 

  • Treatment for an accident requiring a plaster or cast: approximately $50 – $267 for Outpatient Department (OPD) treatment.
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  • Treatment for bacterial diarrhea: around $50 – $100 for OPD treatment, or $667 – $3,000 for Inpatient Department (IPD) treatment.
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  • Treatment for Dengue fever: about $50 – $100 for OPD treatment, or between $1,167 – $5,000 for IPD treatment.
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  • Minor stitches: approximately $17 – $267 for OPD treatment. Treatment costs may vary based on the accident’s severity.
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  • Major surgeries: around $6,667 – $50,000 or even more for IPD treatment. Treatment expenses may vary depending on the accident’s severity.
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Based on these average costs, having a travel policy that covers you for at least 100,000 USD is highly recommended. However a more comfortable range would be USD 200,000-300,000 USD of coverage.

 

Please remember to not only look at the coverage number but also read the policy wording to ensure that certain things like Motorbike accidents are covered as you may need this the most in Thailand. For example, LUMA Asia Pass plan does cover motorbike accidents, given that you follow all traffic laws.

 

How to navigate Medical Expenses Insurance for Thailand

If you fall ill or get injured while traveling in Thailand,

 

  • Review your travel policy conditions

Usually, travel insurance covers the costs of emergency medical treatment, and doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions. Therefore, make sure your illness is not a chronic condition.

 

  • What kind of medical expenses does the travel insurance cover?
  • Medical expenses due to an accident
  • Medical expenses due to illness, both OPD and IPD medical expenses
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Typically travel insurance policies will cover OPD visits on your trip as these usually are smaller amounts in costs relative to IPD costs. However, a lot of insurance companies will require you to call them beforehand to confirm any IPD costs in the case you may need to be hospitalized.

 

Tip: The best is to choose a travel insurance company that is located in the country you are visiting. For example LUMA is located in Bangkok, so they would be able to give you a greater deal of service than a company not located in Thailand.

 

  • Direct billing or reimbursement
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  • In case your illness is serious so you need to be hospitalized, you can choose whether to pay upfront then submit claims to your insurance company and wait for the reimbursement, or you will let the insurance company do direct pay with the hospital. Usually with travel insurance there is no direct billing unless you call and have your insurance connect with the hospital you are getting treatment from.
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  • If your illness won’t take a long time to be hospitalized and the costs of medical treatment is not a big amount that you are able to cover, you should pay upfront then submit claims for reimbursement later after your hospital discharge.
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  • Notification timeframe
  • You must notify the insurance company usually within 30 days after the incident happened in order to be covered. However if it is an IPD treatment always call you insurance before to get approved.
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  • Documents typically required
  • Completed Claims Form
  • Copy of travel itinerary, plane ticket and/or boarding pass indicating travel date and time.
  • Original receipt showing medical expenses lists 
  • Original medical certificate (Specifying dates of receiving treatment or hospitalization, causes and symptoms)
  • Copy of your passport
  • Copy of the your passbook to transfer compensation
  • Other documents as requested by the company (this will be case by case)
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  • Compensation consideration timeframe

The timeframe of compensation consideration typically takes 15-30 days from the date the company receives complete documents, depending on each company and if they need time to contact the hospital in Thailand. If there are time zone differences this will most likely cause delays so beware.

 

 

Overall, having medical expense coverage in Thailand is a good idea for anyone traveling. It can protect you from financial hardship in case of an unexpected medical emergency, just be sure to read your policy before you purchase.

 

Medical Expenses Insurance for Thailand Real Examples:

 

Question: Can this policy cover my trip to Thailand for gastroscopy? I have had some stomach pains already in my country.

Answer: This can not be covered. Due to it being a Pre- existing condition and this policy is for leisure and business which is not for medical seeking purpose.

 

Question: After a long flight to Thailand, I experienced muscle strain and sought medical treatment at a hospital. The doctor prescribed 10 sessions of chiropractic and physiotherapy. Can I claim this benefit?

Answer: It depends on each insurance coverage. If you policy includes physiotherapy then yes it would be. However in the case of LUMA Asia Pass, physiotherapy is an exclusion so this would not be covered.

 

Question: Can this policy cover the situation if I have a motorbike accident while he riding a motorcycle in Thailand?

Answer: This would be covered for LUMA Asia Pass only if no traffic laws were broken. For example, wearing your helmet, not under the influence of any substance etc.
However most policies will list motorbike accidents as an exclusion. LUMA Asia Pass is one of the few that covers motorbike accidents in Thailand.

Getting medical expense coverage for your trip to Thailand is a wise decision. Even minor accidents or illnesses can result in bills that disrupt your travel budget. Be sure to read the insurance policy carefully and select a comprehensive plan based on your needs.

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