Foreigners holding non-immigrant visa in Thailand will soon need COVID-19 insurance

UPDATE: COVID-19 insurance needed for long-stay O-A visas

All foreigners living in Thailand as non-immigrants will in the future have to prove they have insurance coverage of at least US$100,000 (three million baht) against Covid-19.

The proposal was approved in principle by the cabinet yesterday and Traisuree Taisaranakul, deputy spokeswoman for the government, said it would apply to all holders of the one-year, non-immigrant visa (NIV).

NIVs are awarded in four categories: marriage, work, business and retirement.

The new rule follows an amendment to the regulations approved by the cabinet in April last year.

At present, holders of the NIV must be insured to the tune of just 40,000 baht for out-patient treatment, or 400,000 baht for in-patient treatment at a hospital.

Future NIV applicants must produce proof they have taken out the far higher insurance against Covid-19 and if they are eligible to state-sponsored welfare or insurance, the same minimum coverage applies.

Those seeking to renew their NIV are free to buy the insurance from abroad.

If they have access to state-sponsored insurance, they must submit documentary proof certified by the Bangkok-based embassies of their respective nations or by authorised official of the Foreign Ministry of their native countries.

If someone is denied the requisite Covid-19 insurance because they are deemed to be in an at-risk group, they must present the rejection document as well as proof of financial security, bank account or other health insurance valued at a minimum US$100,000.

Ms Traisuree said that since the cabinet had approved the new rule in principle the next step would be for the Immigration Bureau to publish full details and make it official.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry will also work to improve the NIV application procedure while the Public Health Ministry and the Interior Ministry will be in charge of modifying related regulations and telling the public about them.

Ms Traisuree said the current NIV regulation was flawed as foreign nationals aged over 70 could not buy insurance in Thailand, causing them to be disqualified from remaining long-term in the kingdom.

This article is taken from Bangkok Post

UPDATE from another article on The Nation: The Cabinet on Tuesday approved in principle new rules to support health insurance for long-stay foreigners under the Non-Immigrant “O-A” visa.