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New rules designed to support Covid health insurance for expats staying in Thailand for a long time


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The Thai cabinet yesterday, Tuesday, June 15, basically approved new rules to support health insurance for long-stay foreigners under the non-immigrant “OA” visa.

The old rules required purchasing Thai health insurance through the website Longstay.tgia.org, which has encountered operational difficulties. The new rules provide relief for ex-pats over the age of 70 who cannot obtain insurance in Thailand and therefore run the risk of their application for extension of stay being rejected.

The new rules were drafted as follows:

1. The initial visa application must include health insurance or government welfare with a minimum coverage of $100,000 or 3 million baht for medical expenses and treatment of Covid-19.
2. Applications for an extension of the stay can make use of a health insurance policy from abroad or a government benefit from abroad. This must be certified by a relevant government agency, such as a foreign embassy in Thailand or the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
3. If an insurer denies coverage due to health risks, visa applicants must provide additional documents, including the denial letter, plus securities, deposits and other health insurance policies of at least 3 million baht.

The cabinet has instructed the immigration office to improve the rules and conditions for applying for short-stay visas, while the State Department has been tasked with improving guidelines for OA visa applications.

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