Insurance and the Coronavirus: How much does treatment cost?

Bangkok Hospital - COVID-19 testing is available

While the coronavirus continues to spread and infect more and more people, many want to know how much it might cost to treat the virus.  Questions include:

  • How much does the COVID-19 test cost?
  • How much does treatment for the Coronavirus cost?
  • How much does it cost to buy insurance for the Coronavirus?   

Treatment in Thailand is currently FREE for Thai citizens but the same does NOT apply to expat retirees or foreigners working in Thailand.  Foreigners will need to pay for testing and treatment either in a government hospital or a  private hospital.   Given the way the COVID-19 virus is spreading expats in Thailand very soon may not have a choice between going to a government hospital or seeking treatment at a private hospital which is generally more expensive.

Eighteen (18) government hospitals in Thailand have been assigned to provide treatment for the COVID-19 virus.   Initially, only government hospitals were treating cases of COVID 19 but now any hospital in Thailand can treat COVID-19. The cost of hospitalization in a government hospital is anywhere between 4,000 to 10,000 THB per night depending on the level of care required. Foreigners can expect to pay around 100,000 THB / week in a government hospital.  However spaces are limited and resources are beginning to stretch as the number of cases continues to grow.  This means that very soon a government hospital may well not be an option for foreigners seeking treatment.

Several private hospitals have more recently established special Acute Respiratory Infection Clinics (ARI Clinics) which have priority with test results within 6 -12 hours versus Non-ARI clinic which take around 12 to 48 hours to receive results. The cost for the COVID-19 test at the time of writing is 6,500 THB but hopefully the cost will become cheaper over time.  If a doctor recommends the test then the test will generally be covered by insurance.  If the patient simply attends the hospital without symptoms and asks for a test the patient will be asked to bear the cost of the test himself or herself.  If you would like to book yourself in for a test contact Bangkok Hospital on  📞 1719

Bangkok Hospital cost of COVID-19 test

So how much would treatment of the Coronavirus be in a private hospital?  Estimates vary depending on whether the patient needs to go into an Intensive Care Unit or not but information from one hospital spokesman suggests the cost could be anything from 80,000 THB to 400,000THB per day.  That is a crippling amount of money for someone in retirement to pay which is worsened if the patient is suffering from other complications such as high blood pressure, cancer or diabetes.  Over 2-4 weeks the cost of treatment could easily exceed 2M or even 3M THB.

The last thing anyone needs in the middle stages of their life is to see their life savings drained to cover medical expenses.  You may think you are in good health at this point in time but the reality is as we approach our mid to late 60’s we become more and more susceptible to heart disease (the silent killer), cancer and other debilitating “black swan events” such as the other Coronavirus.

To avoid a financial setback of this nature we recommend you take out Personal Medical Insurance if you intend to stay in Thailand for any length of time. The cost for a mid-level INPATIENT ONLY plan with 3.25 M THB (USD 100,000) of medical coverage for a person aged 61-65 years of age is around 65,000 THB / year.   This level of coverage would save most retirees from financial ruin and provides great peace of mind.    The cost is less than the equivalent of one night stay in a private hospital and makes great financial sense.   If you were to take the plan with a 32,750 THB deductible the price is would be around 53,000 THB/ year.  (Having a deductible means you get a discount on the premium for agreeing to pay the first 32,750 THB of any claim over the year, Once you pay this you don’t need to pay this again for any ongoing treatment or treatment for any other illness over the year covered under the policy).

Although avoiding COVID-19 is all anyone can think about right now, it’s important to continue taking care of your health as well as your financial security.  Taking PERSONAL MEDICAL INSURANCE provides the greatest level of security and financial protection against emergencies and black swan events.

Contact us today if you have additional questions or need more information

Phone: +66 (0) 89-897-9435