Award winning Insurance Agent and Manager Aom Marsh explains how she found the best health insurance for expats in Thailand.
I always like to tell the story of how I became an agent to show you how we arrived at the packages we recommend. My husband’s boutique real estate company saw a healthy foot fall most days and once clients bought a property to start their lives in Thailand, it was only natural they inquired about health insurance. Sparking my husband’s eager entrepreneurial spirit, we started to refer clients to all different insurance agencies and brokers. Sadly that first year was a nightmare, from what started as a way to make some extra money turned into a very real introduction of the downfalls of buying either cheap insurance or the pitfalls of simply choosing a policy from an agent that cannot communicate properly. Where we live, Phuket is a very small place, mistakes are easily noticed. After witnessing all the pitfalls from so many bad insurance plans we came to see one policy surpass all others for overall level of cover and versatility.
Health insurance is something that we don’t ever want to use, however when it comes down to crunch time, the best policy I have seen (fully battle tested) in Thailand is iHealthy from KrungThai Axa.
Making the jump to become an agent for KrungThai Axa myself was an easy decision, after having an overview of so many other insurance options out there, it made sense. Furthermore, with my husband knowing so many people in the expat community, we quickly became known for providing the best health cover on the island. Since then, I have worked my way up to Manager Status, recruiting and teaching everything that I have learnt to new agents every week, still taking care of my own customers in the local expat communities here in Phuket.
Key points I saw when choosing KrungThai Axa
KrungThai Axa are not fickle. Once you are with them they stick to their word, in my experience they haven’t raised prices if a client gets sick or god forbid cancel a clients policy if they’re irreparably sick, unlike other companies out there.
The cover options for iHealthy from KrungThai Axa are extremely clear. You are covered for your entire limit every year. compared to other companies, you might see a large cover amount (maybe even in the millions of dollars), however it’s almost always segmented cover, meaning that mostly the large amount of cover is just a marketing tactic, not covering every illness or issue equally, putting you at risk of having to pay extra.
iHealthy includes Inpatient and Outpatient in every package.
One thing to remember when using insurance is most policies have a ‘waiting period’ as long as you understand them properly, there is almost never any confusion.
I’m sure you know this but in case you don’t, if you get Cancer today and you want to buy insurance tomorrow to cover it, that’s not how it works.
The waiting period for iHealthy has a few stages;
- First 30 days, accident cover only. After 30 days you are covered for illness ect.
- First 90 days, pay first and claim later. (Afterwards it’s a cashless claim for almost everything, no excess to pay)
- After 120 days you are covered for serious diseases like cancer, cataracts, cysts etc..
For normal cases, the claiming process is seamless, if you are outside of the waiting period then just show the card to the hospital and you’re good to go.
This claim process varies from hospital to hospital though, some hospitals will automatically ask you to pay first and claim later as they have no way of knowing how good your cover really is, just ask them to put the claim through and you might have to wait around 30 mins for them to process everything. (My phone is on 24 hours a day if needed)
Regarding big cases, like major operations, it’s always best to try doing a pre-claim, meaning an agent will get your history from all the hospitals in the surrounding area to make sure it’s not a pre-existing condition to make the claim go through quicker. This is a lot of work for an agent to do, but I prefer more work than headache or problems after, make sure any agent that you buy any policy from in the future thinks this way too, otherwise you might get into a situation where you have to pay first and claim later, not always an option if you don’t have a few million baht spare in the bank.
All iHealthy options provide a great ‘room per night’ allowance, enough to fully pay for a private room in an expensive private hospital with options in the various plans to get a VIP room or even the President Suite.
The price is more or less fixed, raising in stages every 5 years, relatively the same price for that 5 year period and the policy term completes at 85.
The table below will show you some of the highlights.
Smart ฿3 Million Cover, Silver ฿6 million Cover, Gold ฿10 Million Cover, Diamond ฿70 Million Cover, Platinum ฿100 Million Cover