Medical Insurance

Issues related to medical treatment.

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Postby prufrock » Fri Jun 01, 2007 2:47 pm

dozer wrote:There are many insurance companies here which offer medical. Some of them don't have high limit insurance. The one I use is BUPA which has a several levels of coverage and can be used internationally. I had an appendicitis operation and they covered all costs no money out of pocket. This is important here since the good hospitals require payment before admission, if an emergency it is nice to have a card they can accept. It is much cheaper to buy insurance here than it would be overseas.


I echo both Dozer and the Jazz in recommending BUPA Thailand. Less expensive than BUPA UK, many friends switched their Brit BUPA coverage for the Th version. Slipped off the garage roof a few years back, straight down...mai sanuk. Paid not a satang for ambulance and all costs associated with my back at CMai Ram I. BUPA is the cat's meow. No longer covers CMai Ram - too expensive I guess. BTW, most Thai Med Insurance does not cover you after the age of 70 - just when you are most likely to need it: BUPA does covers you, for life; if you sign on before age 60, AND, provided you maintain non-interrupted coverage thereafter. A friend missed continuing coverage by a few days as there were a series of holidays intervening, luckily he was 59. So, never really tested the 'continuing coverage' clause, and do not intend to. Also BUPA return to you a bonus percentage if you are claim-free for the year. I use Emerald, but without 'Outpatient' Coverage,as that adds ~30K, which I seldom ever need, and if so, pay at the time out of pocket...often less than 1000B. BTW BUPA does not cover you in the USA. Up to you as they say... Cheers :)
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Postby Nawty » Fri Jun 01, 2007 4:59 pm

I got a quote back from that Pattaya company, it was 50% more than what I currently pay.
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Just get it

Postby livestone » Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:13 pm

Well crew, I found out the hard way by not having it and it's starting to hurt. My wife and I had a motorcycle accident on boxing day. Still in Chiang Mai Ram Hospital and the bill has gone past 200,000bt due to a broken neck months of rehab in front of us for my wife, loss of wages from abroad for what looks like 3-4 months, buying car to replace bike, lets say we will not be building the dream house this year. What ever the cost just get it! you just never know. :cry:
Oh 5 days of that bill is from Theppanya Hospital Chiang Mai at 55,000bt, crap service,staff,food,doctors stay away.
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Re:

Postby cruzing » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:41 am

dozer wrote: BTW BUPA does not cover you in the USA. Up to you as they say... Cheers :)


You can get a short term policy for travel to the U.S. from Bupa. I got one for one month for 1900 baht, however, I think
Thaivisa may have a policy less expensive. I know they have a travel insurance that is less, but not sure exactly what it cover.

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BUPA

Postby jazzman » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:18 am

livestone wrote:Well crew, I found out the hard way by not having it and it's starting to hurt...


And that is a classic example why it is extremely in advisable to go through life here in Thailand without cover. general health is fairly predictable and there is usually enough warning, accidents are not. I was recently asked to help a well know former British TV director/producer who lives in Thailand if I could help him out with a 300,000 baht hospital bill for a predictable problem.. When I first came to Thailand I was stupid enough to waste Ffr 2,000 (about £200 or $400 at the time) for a 30-day travel policy, but at that time I didn't know that I was going to stay here permanently.
prufrock wrote:
dozer wrote:There are many insurance companies here which offer medical. Some of them don't have high limit insurance. The one I use is BUPA which has a several levels of coverage and can be used internationally. I had an appendicitis operation and they covered all costs no money out of pocket. This is important here since the good hospitals require payment before admission, if an emergency it is nice to have a card they can accept. It is much cheaper to buy insurance here than it would be overseas.


I echo both Dozer and the Jazz in recommending BUPA Thailand. Less expensive than BUPA UK, many friends switched their Brit BUPA coverage for the Th version. Slipped off the garage roof a few years back, straight down...mai sanuk. Paid not a satang for ambulance and all costs associated with my back ...

I've been a member of the BUPA since early 2002 and have just paid my annual policy of Baht 16,948. This is hardly going to hurt the wallet of anyone who can afford to live here - particularly those who have money enough to build houses. The plan includes major medical and Out Patients Department. Many expensive one-day examinations and/or treatment are covered under the OPD plan. The 200 or so hospitals that are registered with the BUPA do not require pre-payment.

In 2005 I was hospitalised for a week for a serious infection. I had a private room with full cable TV, two visits a day from the doctor who spoke excellent English, and the nursing was so good it was almost an embarrassment, and the food was pretty good too. My wife stayed in the room the whole time in a spare bed. Everything was covered by the BUPA including the meals for my wife !

Occasionally I have asked for quotes from other firms just for comparison, but the the service was lousy, some of them didn't even answer. The BUPA staff speak English and they have offices in all major centres of population. Naturally insurance firms will not entertain pre-existing problems with new policies, but hospital admins are often able to find a workaround.

I went to a doctor's office in Soi Neun Plubwaan once to get some stitches in my leg after a fall and it it cost 100 baht. The average visit to my local doctor here costs 50 baht. A blood sugar check in our village hospital costs 100 baht and includes a full blood test. Permananent medication here for a gastric complaint costs 200 baht /month over the counter. In the UK it would be about 3,000 in prescription fess alone.

I am perfectly happy with the BUPA and my chosen plan. If I need anything serious that risks going over the already high ceiling, I would get on a plane and go the the UK where treatment is free for Brits.
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Re: Medical Insurance

Postby cruzing » Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:26 pm

I guess I assumed wrong that it would be understood that the health insurance I bought for a month to visit the states was in addition to my regular BUPA plan.

Several of you know that we are from the U.S....... and that is the only reason I purchased that 1month health plan.......my reply was to the comment that the U.S. wasn't covered under the BUPA plan here.

Unfortunately my husband did not get his BUPA plan until after age 60. He was even considering not renewing this year. I said fine, but before you make a final decision go talk to our local headman that just had cancer treatment in BKK at Siriraj hospiptal. He talked to him for about and hour and came home and said you still want it get it, it cost him over 500,000 baht out of his own pocket. Insurance for both of us this year was a bit over 40,000 baht, which unfortunately this year cost me more in dollars than the previous year. No OPD. for the visits we pay to the doctor it would cost us more in insurance than out of pocket.

I have heard that BUPA will pay even if you aren't in the hospital overnight....but are there for a procedure for several hours...the one I heard about was six hours....not sure if that is true in every case though.

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Re: Medical Insurance

Postby jazzman » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:33 pm

The details I posted above are 100% accurate, and may require reading again in detail; for more information it is very easy to go onto the Thai BUPA site at http://www.bupathailand.com/ - it's all in perfect English.
BUPA's OPD plan, only about 1,000 baht a year more, will even pay for an extremely expensive MRI or CAT scan, or some surgical operations where the patient can be discharged the same day.
Overnight can be claimed if the time on the hospital premisses is more than 6 hours - this is not related to the actual duration of any treatment which could take only an hour or so, such as endoscopy, gastroscopy.
I think my 16,900 baht a year, including OPD is more than adequate, and is excellent value, and it sure doesn't dent my modest means. I speak from experience.
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Re: Medical Insurance

Postby cruzing » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:11 pm

BUPA's OPD plan, only about 1,000 baht a year more, will even pay for an extremely expensive MRI or CAT scan, or some surgical operations where the patient can be discharged the same day.


While I agree BUPA is good, according to my documentation in hand, the above statement is false and misleading. I am looking at the hard copy from BUPA and if you have the coverage you have now means you have RUBY, which is next to the lowest coverage. Just for hospitalization the yearly premium will cost you 15,582 (this price is from NOV 2008.) WITH OPD classic it is 22,364 for the year for YOUR age group. That is almost 7,000 baht more. Could it be that you are thinking of the OPD deluxe payment per visit, which is 1000 baht. 500 for classic and 800 for OPD plus per visit.

I have the emerald account and the difference between hospitalization vs. hospitalization and OPD is a dfference of 13.543 baht.....not peanuts if you are on a limited budget...... even if you have built a house doesn't mean you have never ending available monies.

Emerald will cover in full a hospital stay at Phayathai Siracha hospital,which IMO better than price gouging BKK Pattaya...even according to the BUPA nurse/rep in Pattaya. We found that anything lower than emerald and you can plan on some out of pocket expenses too.

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Re: Medical Insurance

Postby jazzman » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:54 pm

I don't want to get into an argument about this, after all, this is basically a forum about building houses and I'm not an expert on health matters or an insurance broker. I do however have a weakness for trying to be helpful, although there does seem to be some lethargy with some members who want others to do their thinking for them - it's like all the polemic about needing a lawyer to do a usufruct, or the pros and cons of electric vs solar water heating.
I've just paid 16,948 baht on 12/01/2009 and I'll repeat that I'm perfectly satisfied with BUPA and I think it's a great deal, they speak my language, and I don't have to pay the hospital first, and I'm not wrong about the expensive tests and checks whichever way it's calculated, I've had them done, and they were paid for by the BUPA without a murmur. I've never had any extra to pay myself and have always been pleasantly surprised at the other things they paid that I didn't expect. Also if a year goes by without a claim, I get a small refund.
I do think anyone who lives without medical cover needs to do some careful rethinking, and shouldn't bleat if they can't be bothered. It's not (no longer) my job to educate the masses, but I inform when I can. I've cited enough examples.
ALL Europeans are covered in some way or other by their governments as it is stopped from their salaries, and at a much higher rate than one year's BUPA here. We Europeans grow up with a deadly fear of not being covered because we've always had it, and what's 16,000 baht anyway? There are too many farangs building houses here who then complain about the everyday costs of maintaining their stay - other boards are full of people winging about visa fees etc., and costs of flights home.
With the cost of BUPA here, the average American should be jumping for joy.
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Re: Medical Insurance

Postby cruzing » Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:55 am

Well, this part of the forum is for just that, other things besides building info. So not sure why you felt the need to say.........
this is basically a forum about building houses


I totally agree it's prudent to have medical coverage here or anywhere, at least hospitalization where you have the most expenditures.

With the cost of BUPA here, the average American should be jumping for joy.


Well I would have let this whole thing peter out, except for the above "dig".

I'm wondering if the UK has such great FREE healthcare, why do you need BUPA in the UK? Not trying to start anything, I'm really wondering?

Free services are NOT free, someone has to pay for them. I think everyone should have to pay something,(sliding payment scale maybe) instead of getting a free ride.
Either you're taxes are paying for them, or someone else is paying taxes for them.

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Re: Medical Insurance

Postby jazzman » Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:35 am

cruzing wrote:
With the cost of BUPA here, the average American should be jumping for joy.
Well I would have let this whole thing peter out, except for the above "dig".
Except that it is the most pivotal statement in the post.
cruzing wrote:I'm wondering if the UK has such great FREE healthcare, why do you need BUPA in the UK? Not trying to start anything, I'm really wondering?
The Brits are an insular society and are notorious for complaining about things before making comparisons. There are 60 million Brits getting a much, much better service than 40 million Americans, and its comparable with Germany and better than France, Spain, or Italy. They do not "need" BUPA. BUPA is a luxury for people who can afford it , like big houses, big automobiles, Armani suits, Gucci shoes, and Rolex watches. In contrast, here in Thailand I consider it to be a perfectly affordable necessity.
cruzing wrote:[color=#0000FF]Free services are NOT free, someone has to pay for them...
Either you're taxes are paying for them, or someone else is paying taxes for them.
This is redundant - I already mentioned it: "Europeans are covered in some way or other by their governments as it is stopped from their salaries"
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Re: Medical Insurance

Postby ningnong » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:36 pm

jazzman wrote:I've just paid 16,948 baht on 12/01/2009 and I'll repeat that I'm perfectly satisfied with BUPA and I think it's a great deal, they speak my language


I am not seeking to revive an old heated discussion here; I just am very concerned about obtaining health insurance in Thailand and am hoping for some advice and to benefit from others experience. I have just spent hours on the BUBA - Thailand site (url changed since it was last posted) and can find nothing remotely close to that price you got Jazzman - except the "Crystal" plan - which is for Thai Nationals only. Be OK for my wife, but not for me :( . The "Emerald" one referred to by cruzing is very basic. Can you give me a hint as to what plan you are on? It is not easy to get and compare the prices/cover for all the available options because one has to keep going through the quotation form each time and the names on the quotes don't always correspond with the head-line plan names

Bit off topic but - as a new member to this site can I emphasise how much I really do value the help and advice you all provide on building and other subjects. It upsets me to see how some threads get misused and messages are misinterpreted but, despite recent events, on the whole it all seems to go smoother on this site than others I have visited (probably because of dozer's hands-on approach to managing things). I have personally benefitted from sound advice from jazzman, cruzing, geordie, dozer and many others. I understand how frustrating it can be for the established members to have a stream of new joiners asking the same old questions (seeming not to have done our own research), but often it is difficult to know where to start without the initial responses we get here.
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Re: Medical Insurance

Postby ningnong » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:12 am

Following on from my posting above, after a lot more investigating the BUPA site I have sussed most of it out I think. In increasing order of cover the plans available are:

  • Saphire (11,378)
  • Crystal 1 (10,404)
  • Ruby (20,773)
  • Crystal 2 (17,907)
  • Emarald (27,999)
  • Crystal 3 (30,412)
  • Diamond (37,675)
  • Platinum 1-? (50,226-?)
The Crystal 1-3 set of policies provides far better value for money but is only available to Thai Nationals.

The number in paretheses are the basic prices as quoted on the web site for someone of my age (without providing any health declarations) and with no optional benefits selected. Adding on OPD or PA can significantly increase the cost. Only the Crystal and Platinum plans provide 100% cover the others are 80%.

So far I have been unable to locate a copy of the detailed policy document (small print) on-line. Highlights of the policies can be found in this PDF document on the BUPA site.

If I discover anything else of interest I will let you know.
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Re: Medical Insurance

Postby jazzman » Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:54 am

I've been with the BUPA here in Thailand for ten years. I am lucky to be in reasonably good health and hardly ever have to use it. <edit Dozer 3/24> I can only quote from the price on my renewal slip. The pricing structure is complicated because of the many levels and options, and then the scales that depend on your age. When you are over 60 it tends to get dramatically more expensive, but it is still extremely cheaper than the BUPA in the UK that costs several hundred pounds per month at that age.

Americans won't be bothered because they are used to living without health insurance. While Europeans would die (pun) of panic if they were not covered.
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Re: Medical Insurance

Postby fredlk » Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:46 am

ningnong wrote:I just am very concerned about obtaining health insurance in Thailand and am hoping for some advice and to benefit from others experience.

I did a lot of research myself. Bupa is fine when you're healthy. If you have a pre-existing condition, no insurance. If you start to suffer from a condition they could at worst terminate your insurance and at best exclude the condition. There is no 100% guarantee that they will insure you for life. I also found their premiums rather high.

As I said, after a lot of research I settled for http://www.healthcareinternational.com/. If you insure with them before age 60, you will be insured for life. Cancer is not covered in the first 2 years and heart disease the first 1. They are cheap as well. I have a basic policy covering in-patient treatment with an excess for each occurrence and I pay 35,000 Baht per year.
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