Thai health insurance - how good ? Risks ?

Oct 17, 2006
I guess some of you have had experience in the subject matter.

the policies are very, very cheap, compared with Europe/ USA.
My problem is

1. I often dont understand the very cryptic or poor English definitions,
I never trust them because in the real world only the complete terms and conditions apply,
2. I dont know how expensive a serious injury can become , i.e. I dont know how quickly the low limits on individual medical services would trigger.

Meaning cheap in the end can become extremely expensive , is that so ??

What would you do - in hindsight ?
Commendable agents, insurance companies?
Perhaps consider foreign cover?
My goal has always been only to insure major events, not to get reimbursed for 5000 or so THB

Aug 31, 2005
I can offer some real advice on insurance.
If you are looking at Thai health insurance try ING. They have a range of options available depending on your budget. Most of my staff use them and if you're lucky and find an agent that can speak a bit of English they will help work out what is best for you. If you're looking for a more expat oriented insurance deal try New Zealand Insurance (they advertise in the Bangkok Post).
The ING agent in Nong Khai have been pretty good to us. They brokered my Thai car insurance and they act as the ING agent for Vientiane.
Oct 17, 2006
Thank you Mike,
ING is a helpful tip. What would be interesting is not only your experience with the agent but regarding settlement of major claims.
Any examples ??
Also I dont know what amount of possible claims I should insure my wife for.
My agent was so funny, he asked = how much do you want to pay?
Well , of course next to nothing I replied. The fundamental question is==

how expensive can a major illness, accident here in Thailand become?
Only then I can make a qualified guesstimate of what a reasonable insurance cover ought to be.
None of us want to overpay or be underinsured.
Aug 31, 2005
We haven't had any major claims. ING issue a card to policy holders and when visiting any of their listed clinics/hospitals (all over the place including Vientiane) they present the card. I think they only pay if the cost is greater then their insured value (the difference that is). No one has complained that they have rubbish insurance. Most medical costs are cheap in Thailand so insuring for that catastrophic event probably makes more sense then insuring for a 600baht doctors visit.
As a guide back surgery (ruptured/slipped disc) at Bumrumrad cost about USD4000. David might be able to give an example of the costs for a broken arm ;-).
I also have nothing to do with any insurance companies.
Oct 17, 2006
Beware if u have diabetes or similar any pre existing condition, it will invalidate any policy except for accident cover.They will claim that such coditions exempt u from all cover except accident. then the insurance is worthless.
I know I have been turned down by all local companies due to having Diabetes type 2.



Oct 15, 2006
Khuang Nai
Word from here,, DONT USE AIA,, my wife has it and suddely after 4yrs they send her a letter saying that they dont cover her life insurance with out any medical problems....
what a crap company.
Im using Buba international by my self and that is one nice company, they have guidlines that they cover "easier" claims from the hospitalsclinic's from the bookweb pages included in they pages,, well i used hospital last year what is not in they page and have NO problem at all, paid up front and got money back with in 1mth to my account.


Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
Chiang Khong
Have been working on a reply & some tips for you, but it is going to take the one armed man time to type, & garner info from the insurance companies.

You've got two choices I guess
1. General health insurance
2. Accident / travel insurance.

Accident insurance is the "cheats way" & what I have been using for a few years. The policy I had was an el cheapo 3,000 baht a year premium for max 100,000 baht pay out. This is probably only just enough for easy accidents with simple fractures & once off surgery & few days in hospital. I reckon that I will be ok this time round, no hospitalization yet, but if the humerus head does not knit properly & I do need a prothesis, then I will be in the deep shit, as the doc says it is very expensive & he would only recommend Bamrungrad hospital in Bkk for it.

Whatever you need to check if here are any restrictions because your claim is motorcyle caused. There could be a maximum percentage pay out because it is from a motorbike accident.

Now re medical bills I reckon that you should be looking at something that covers you for up to a million baht to be safe.
You might also want to have SOS evacuation coverage.
The ING link ... Terms=kafe
that Craypot gave is a first class excellent one & one that I would seriously consider.

I went to the LMG office in Chiang Mai for some info & found the staff there totally imcompetent in answering the most basic questions; & have temporarly given up on them (try again next week). Yet there was a recommendation for them from Bupha in Pattaya I think.

More later when I can get more mobile, collate the info, & can type it up.


Oct 14, 2005
I have Bupa so far it's paid timely, I only insure for major things, what made me choose them is if you have coverage prior to age 60 they will continue coverage. Some will not
Apr 10, 2006
My GF is an ICU Nurse in a major hospital and as such gets to know from experience which health insurances are worth their salt. I've asked her in the past about getting a Thai health insurance and she has always adviced me against it as she says they are all cheats.
Oct 17, 2006
Wonderful , this is a hilarious play on words
Title =My GF is an Intensive Care Unit Nurse
BY = Penetrator

BUT Seriously now=

Thank you for your enlightening comments.

Having done some more thinking and taking into account my own accidental experiences and having more than over-fullfilled all statistical probabilities in accident occurrences I certainly will NOT go with a Thai insurance.

1. Important is I can read even the small fine print, which often will make the decisive difference. And if need be I can communicate with a native English speaking lawyer, NZ e.g.

2. Not wanting to scare anyone I can only say that my misfortune having had 3 major and extremely costly accidents was to some degree counter-balanced by first class insurance. The idea one doesn't need money when sick is totally wrong. I can not tell you how utterly comfortable I felt because of a generous daily allowance that kept me me away from social security status. It makes sitting in the wheel chair almost cosy when you can still enjoy a good meal in a restaurant.

( Samesame insurance company, still hasnt kicked me out although total expenditures should be close to 2,5 million US$ in 20 years )

1 million THB may seem to be a lot. Even in this country it is next to nothing when more than 1 time surgery , or else is needed. Rehabilitation is much more expensive.

For me spending on a good insurance was winning real big in the lottery game of life.

Oct 17, 2006
One clarification =

NONE of the accidents were motor bike related.

No 1 and most severe was a car accident.
No 2 I took photos of my favorite model, broke the shoulder
No 3 just a very awkward misstep

All three case resulted in exstensive and long rehabiltiations.

In my life the health insurance was by far the best investment.