Health Top Up Insurance – Why you Need it

As a foreigner working in Thailand, your employer will be legally obligated to provide a group insurance policy covering inpatient and outpatient care. While these policies generally provide a broad coverage for most conditions there will be gaps in coverage for more unique or critical illnesses that may occur while living and working overseas.

For this reason, many prudent foreigners consider purchasing an additional Thailand expat health insurance policy to cover medical problems that fall outside of the group policy conditions. A tragic diagnosis can be made disastrous when coverage is lacking. Foreigners will have to either return home to the mercy of a struggling social health care system or find treatment under the Thai government hospital scheme. Both options are less than desirable.

A top-up health insurance policy is an indemnity plan that provides additional medical coverage to people with an existing health insurance policy or an employer policy. It allows people to get their medical expenses covered even if they have exhausted the sum insured by their regular health insurance policy. Basically, the health top-up insurance policy will sit above your existing policy. These umbrella policies are activated once the primary limits on your employee policy are exhausted. 

It’s important to request your insurance policy wording from your employer and ascertain what general exclusions are subject to the policy. Some incidents and accidents are unrecoverable on most policies. Many foreigners drive or ride a vehicle without a Thai driving license. Injuries resulting from anything illegal, including driving offences, are generally uninsured risks.

Features of a Top-Up Health Cover

As mentioned above, any top-up health cover has a compulsory excess amount. You will get the additional coverage only after exhausting the primary limits. Typically, top-up health policies provide coverage for in-patient hospitalization along with pre and post hospitalisation expenses. A health top-up insurance plan may also provide coverage for daycare outpatient treatment.

Generally, if you are below the age of 50 insurance top-up plans do not require additional medical screening. Taking out a plan at a young age means comprehensive coverage for a longer duration. Some plans may also offer a family discount, covering your spouse and children.

Things to Keep in Mind While Purchasing a Top-Up Plan

Keep in mind when choosing a top-up plan to ensure that there is no duplication in the coverage provided by your primary health policy. The majority of the exemptions in these top-up plans will be covered by your primary health insurance policy. Hence, you may not need to bother much about the same. The primary and top-up policy should connect together like a jigsaw puzzle to provide a joint comprehensive policy.

Health insurance in Thailand is similar to health insurance the world over. The more coverage at different levels you have the more likely you are to continue living stress-free and happy in the country they call The Land of Smiles. 

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