Thailand Health Insurance for Expats?

I have been thinking about health insurance in Thailand a lot lately since we had our child. There are a couple things to think about – and one happened today in a Thai hospital in Thailand’s northeast.

Baby had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic the Thai nurse gave her. She blotched up red all over and her face swelled up. Doctor said the next step is the airway swells and she starts to wheeze – unable to get breath.

Hmm, that’s pretty scary. Before today I couldn’t see a reason to get health insurance in Thailand – now I do. Can you imagine if they have to intubate her and keep her alive for a few days or weeks? Seems like at any hospital that could get expensive – even in the northeast of Thailand (isaan).

On the other hand, a guy I knew in Ubon Ratchathani that had a motorbike accident one late night – a wicked crash. He needed a couple of brain surgeries and part of his skull was sewn into his abdominal cavity to keep it alive for months before replacing it. Total bill in Ubon? About 66,000 THB as I remember – but the numbers are cloudy since it was 5+ years ago. Not bad for 2+ weeks in the hospital, intensive care, and at least 2 brain surgeries (that I remember).

Thais have their 30 baht healthcare deal – they get treated in public hospitals for ridiculously low costs. They get pretty ridiculous level of care too. We’ve always gone to private hospitals when available, though we did find ourselves in a public hospital in Krabi – which we’ll NOT talk about. I would not recommend it for you – if you need something important. MAKE that drive to Phuket’s Bangkok hospital and pay 27 times what you would in Krabi, but get 6,000 times the better care.

Anyway – so now we’re considering health insurance for all of us. Thinking it will run about 60,000 for the year for me, wife and baby. Might throw grandma in there too if it’s not too crazy.

Anyone have an idea what that should run?

Author: Vern

I'm an American expat living in Thailand. I like to write informative pieces about life in, living in Thailand, including topics like: Thai People, Thai Culture, Nightlife, Technology, and I have published a lot of photographs, videos, and even books on Thailand that you can find at There are many photographs of Thailand here - feel free to share with attribution (a link back to the home page). All written content on this site by Vern Lovic. Contact me at Google+.

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