Health Insurance And Healthcare For Foreign Workers In Thailand

Congratulations, you have gotten a job in Thailand! Now you can join thousands of other expats enjoying their life and work in the Land of Smiles! Thailand’s rich, vibrant culture and friendly people make it a great place to live, you will feel right at home in no time!

While the company that has hired you will have taken care of most of the legalities of your stay in the kingdom like your employment visa and work permit, as well as helping you find lodgings, there are a few things it would be best for you to check into in advance, and perhaps the most important of these are what employee benefits for health insurance your employer is offering. In the case of large international companies, there is very likely going to be a package readily available for you, but if you have been hired and sponsored by a small, local school for example, it may be incumbent on you to make your own health insurance arrangements.

While Thailand offers world-class medical care, and often at much lower prices than what you might have to pay at home, it can still be costly, and having a solid health insurance plan could save you a lot of money and trouble down the road. The labour laws of Thailand do apply to both citizens and foreign employees and include some provisions for basic health care, but in most cases, you will want to supplement that with private coverage.

In case you weren’t aware, the following are the Thai government’s mandatory employee benefits:

  • Disability
  • Life-death coverage
  • Maternity benefits
  • Child allowance
  • Workman’s compensation
  • Medical treatment (health insurance)
  • Old age benefits

Under Thai law, any temporary worker employed under a fixed-term contract is entitled to the same rights and benefits as a permanent employee, including health insurance to some degree, so it’s best to inquire ahead of time as to what exactly your Thailand employer intends to provide.

Let’s now examine the pension plans and insurance the Thai government does require be provided to you. Thailand’s workers’ compensation and social security fund entitles employees to basic medical insurance that covers illness, injuries, and death. The employees of Thai companies, their legal spouse, and dependent children are all eligible for hospitalization and surgical benefits. Additionally, the Thai Health Plan Policy will cover THB 3000 of dental insurance per year. Another thing to bear in mind are the requirements that sick leave be granted. All employees, including foreign nationals, are legally entitled to 30 days of paid sick leave annually. The employer is entitled to request the sick employee to offer up a medical certificate from his physician after a period of three days of absence as proof of their illness.

It is rare, but not unheard of that unscrupulous employers will try to deny this paid sick leave requirement, in that case, you should seek counsel from the Thai government’s Ministry of Labour. For the most part, Thai companies are very serious about following the law and will provide you with everything you need to live happily and healthily during your stay.

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