Medical Insurance in Thailand or anywhere for that matter

Medical issues, doctors, dentists, opticians and hospitals in Hua Hin and Thailand.
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StevePIraq
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Medical Insurance in Thailand or anywhere for that matter

Post by StevePIraq » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:53 pm

There has been posts in other threads regarding the need or not of having medical insurance. I would just like to give you an insight into a horrible series of events which no one could have foreseen. In the UK it has cost zero so far, elsewhere it would have cost a fortune and the ongoing costs are impossible to calculate.

This relates to my nephew in England who was recently taken ill.

Initially he had a bowel and stomach virus which was treated however it still resulted in massive weight loss, then his lungs collapsed resulting in him being admitted to the local hospital as an emergency. He was then flown by helicopter to Royal Liverpool Hospital and admitted to ICU. He was on life support. He then underwent 3 weeks of tests for what everyone feared was cancer or even worse, luckily it was not. It turned out he had bacteria in his lungs which caused the collapse. Unfortunately, the collapsed lungs leading to loss of oxygen to his body plus the bacteria led to further infections and complications and he has now had to have his leg amputated. He has just got out of ICU after 4 weeks. He will have to remain in hospital for considerable time, following which he will have to go through considerable outpatient treatment.
His life has changed forever. He was ex UK military, a tough and very active guy. Now he will have to rebuild his life.

Having a once a year medical or saying you have never used your insurance is like saying I don’t need brakes on my car I never needed them.

Think carefully about the need for medical insurance especially in a crazy country like this.
"Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you're going to be right." Muhammad Ali

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StevePIraq
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Re: Medical Insurance in Thailand or anywhere for that matter

Post by StevePIraq » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:53 pm

StevePIraq wrote:
Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:53 pm
There has been posts in other threads regarding the need or not of having medical insurance. I would just like to give you an insight into a horrible series of events which no one could have foreseen. In the UK it has cost zero so far, elsewhere it would have cost a fortune and the ongoing costs are impossible to calculate.

This relates to my nephew in England who was recently taken ill.

Initially he had a bowel and stomach virus which was treated however it still resulted in massive weight loss, then his lungs collapsed resulting in him being admitted to the local hospital as an emergency. He was then flown by helicopter to Royal Liverpool Hospital and admitted to ICU. He was on life support. He then underwent 3 weeks of tests for what everyone feared was cancer or even worse, luckily it was not. It turned out he had bacteria in his lungs which caused the collapse. Unfortunately, the collapsed lungs leading to loss of oxygen to his body plus the bacteria led to further infections and complications and he has now had to have his leg amputated. He has just got out of ICU after 4 weeks. He will have to remain in hospital for considerable time, following which he will have to go through considerable outpatient treatment.
His life has changed forever. He was ex UK military, a tough and very active guy. Now he will have to rebuild his life.

Having a once a year medical or saying you have never used your insurance is like saying I don’t need brakes on my car I never needed them.

Think carefully about the need for medical insurance especially in a crazy country like this.
"Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you're going to be right." Muhammad Ali

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Re: Nedical Insurance in Thailand or anywhere for that matter

Post by RCer » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:25 pm

I think medical insurance is absolutely necessary, especially as we age. Unfortunately many of us can't buy insurance outside our home country because of pre-existing conditions.

I know, so what if you have diabetes or high blood pressure.

Insurance companies regularly use a pre-existing sub condition to site it as causing your current medical problem.

Ex: both diabetes and hugh blood pressure can be easily linked as a cause for a heart attack. Thus, you're stuck paying the bill.

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Re: Nedical Insurance in Thailand or anywhere for that matter

Post by StevePIraq » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:40 pm

One other aspect with my post is that if this happened to you in Thailand I doubt you would be allowed to travel back to your own country to obtain free treatment.

As for pre existing conditions, this is something you would need to discuss with AA or similar. It is possible to have it included at a premium.

Perhaps AA could give some comments or guidance here as they are a sponsor.
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Re: Medical Insurance in Thailand or anywhere for that matter

Post by MLS » Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:13 pm

Sad and horrified to read about your nephew's truly awful situation; I'm sure I speak for everyone here in wishing him the best possible recovery and strength to deal with this new chapter in his life.
And thank you for giving me the nudge I need to to sort out insurance for myself. Dreading it, as I have pre-existing condition that I'm sure an insurer will seize upon, but I know I should dread more the prospect of becoming seriously ill here without it. You've done a good deed today - thanks again.

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Re: Nedical Insurance in Thailand or anywhere for that matter

Post by RCer » Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:14 pm

StevePIraq wrote:
Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:40 pm
Perhaps AA could give some comments or guidance here as they are a sponsor.
Great idea.

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Re: Medical Insurance in Thailand or anywhere for that matter

Post by hhfarang » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:22 pm

I spoke with a popular insurance agency in Hua Hin about health insurance when I was there and they did indeed warn that most companies could deny claims for pre-existing conditions but they said they couldn't say whether it would happen or not as it would be decided on a case by case basis.

I have had high blood pressure since I was a teenager and was diagnosed with asthma in my late 30's. These, along with hereditary high cholesterol are all controlled by medications but I did not chance paying for insurance that could just deny any claim on the basis of any one of those conditions. I simply kept 1m baht in a bank account to cover medical expenses. I don't know if things have changed in the last 3 years, but then that amount would pretty much cover any illness, surgery, or hospital stay. My wife had surgery and was in a good Bangkok hospital for nearly a week and it cost less than $2000. We pay nearly that now for 3 months in insurance premiums for her because of the high cost of health care in the U.S.

Self insuring is a real possibility there because of the low cost of health care.
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Re: Medical Insurance in Thailand or anywhere for that matter

Post by oakdale160 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:37 pm

I am amused by Insurance titles.
LIFE insurance is really DEATH insurance.
HEALTH Instance is really SICKNESS Insurance.

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Re: Medical Insurance in Thailand or anywhere for that matter

Post by 404cameljockey » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:27 pm

Self-insuring is fine unless you are unlucky enough to be stricken with something terrible like cancer (do you know someone who has been diagnosed with one? Most of us do I think). The most effective drugs can be astronomically expensive. Rolling the dice with house insurance is one thing (I'm not in favour of doing that either), but with health I think it's just not clever.

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Re: Medical Insurance in Thailand or anywhere for that matter

Post by StevePIraq » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:10 am

hhfarang wrote:
Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:22 pm
I simply kept 1m baht in a bank account to cover medical expenses. I don't know if things have changed in the last 3 years, but then that amount would pretty much cover any illness, surgery, or hospital stay. My wife had surgery and was in a good Bangkok hospital for nearly a week and it cost less than $2000. We pay nearly that now for 3 months in insurance premiums for her because of the high cost of health care in the U.S.

Self insuring is a real possibility there because of the low cost of health care.
1. 1m would go nowhere towards covering the cost of my nephews problem.
2. Your wife had surgery with a week in hospital for US$2,000 (66k Baht), was it a government hospital? My wife spent 2 nights including a 1 hour surgery in Bangkok Hospital Hua Hin and the cost was 85k Baht.

Self insurance can be good but just how much do you need to put away, a major accident of illness could easily go over 1m.
"Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you're going to be right." Muhammad Ali

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Re: Medical Insurance in Thailand or anywhere for that matter

Post by mat » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:23 am

Health Insurance is and will always be a much-discussed subject. After all, a good Insurance Plan comes with costs – especially at higher ages - and not everybody is willing or able to pay this.
I am an insurance broker but still I say there is nothing wrong with self-insurance, at least if you made sufficient reservations for this. A reservation of a few Hundred thousand Baht will not be sufficient. Keep in mind that every year we have several clients that go over 5,000,000 baht and even some go over 10,000,000 baht. Admitted, these clients do go to the best Hospitals but in a worst-case scenario even the costs at Government Hospitals can add up easily.
No money in the Bank and no Insurance in my opinion is gambling. I can totally understand people that don’t insure their house – after all, how big is the chance that your house will burn down – but the chance that any of us at one day ends up in the Hospital is quite realistic. And then what? Fly back to the Home Country? And what if that is not possible? Ask the Family? A Fund Raiser? Now it even becomes gambling with another people’s money.

Having said this, of course there is also a Group that really has problems finding a good option. Most people that come live here are at higher ages, many had a stressful working life in the past and that often comes with medical conditions such as Hypertension or Diabetes II. Especially Diabetes is something the Insurance Companies don’t accept easily without an Exclusion or a Loading of the premium. Still, every application will be looked at on a case by case basis and some people are lucky and don’t receive any exclusion or a mild Exclusion but an Exclusion for Diabetes and all its consequences is regretfully more or less the standard at most Companies. This can but does not always include events like a Heart- Attack or a stroke.
Anyhow, everybody that receives a major exclusion will think twice what to do. Many times, the question is asked what is the point of an insurance when there is a major exclusion. This is always a personal decision but still with an exclusion one will be covered for a lot of other things that might happen and can be extremely costly like Cancer or a Major Accident. Finding the right balance is important. In these situations, many are happy with a high Deductible but a low premium. At least that will give the assurance that in a serious case it will not bankrupt them.

Also a lot of people don’t even consider Health Insurance as they hear from friends that it costs a fortune. Thanks to the fact that we work with many different Companies (all Thai Health Insurers and many International Insurers) there is always a plan for every budget. Don’t gamble with your life or life savings!

Matt
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Re: Medical Insurance in Thailand or anywhere for that matter

Post by oakdale160 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:33 am

good summary mat. One of the advantages of people who come with travel insurance is that it pays for EVACUATION back to your own country. That is a HUGE expense if you have to be moved on a stretcher for example. 3 seats for the stretcher and return tickets and expenses for a nurse or doctor or both.

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Re: Medical Insurance in Thailand or anywhere for that matter

Post by RCer » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:29 pm

mat wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:23 am


Matt
AA Insurance Brokers Co.,Ltd.
In the US medical insurers are famous for finding any possible way not to pay a bill. They will not pay for a broken finger if they can possibly connect it to an existing ailment.

This is pre-Obummer care and the only thing it fixed.

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Re: Medical Insurance in Thailand or anywhere for that matter

Post by 404cameljockey » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:46 pm

RCer wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:29 pm
mat wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:23 am


Matt
AA Insurance Brokers Co.,Ltd.
In the US medical insurers are famous for finding any possible way not to pay a bill. They will not pay for a broken finger if they can possibly connect it to an existing ailment.

This is pre-Obummer care and the only thing it fixed.
I used William Russel for 12 years in the UAE and they paid all family claims with hardly a quibble. Included a laparoscopy and also an emergency overnight stay for pericarditis involving MRI and all the other machines that go ping. Plus counselling/therapy for a family member with anxiety/suspected depression. Highly recommend them if you can pay their rates.

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Re: Medical Insurance in Thailand or anywhere for that matter

Post by laphanphon » Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:29 pm

RCer wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:29 pm
This is pre-Obummer care and the only thing it fixed.
Not really.......as friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer, and not a good one, expected to be terminal. With that diagnosis, the drop him that day. Which he was so grateful for, after a few years of premiums, being self employed.

As it turned out, it was an 'extremely' false diagnosis, and something completely different, which wasn't found out until his first round of chemo and radiation that he had to pay for. On checking the results of treatment, cancer gone. So retested his original samples, back checking and all you can think off......and the cancer never existed.

They'll cancel you if terminal, as they know they won't have to pay, since nobody to sue them.....well, unless you live.

Another reason I'll never have insurance.
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