More Covid-19 insurance options for foreign tourists


More Covid-19 insurance options for foreign tourists

Government and OIC discuss details

Foreign visitors await instructions from health officials inside the arrivals terminal at Suvarnabhumi Airport. AFP

Overseas tourists are likely to have more insurance options to cover hospital and hotel isolation expenses in Thailand as the government attempts to address the issue of Covid-infected tourists refusing to pay for medication or run away from hotels.

Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, said the government was discussing with the Office of the Insurance Commission (OCI) about providing Covid-19 insurance options for vaccinated tourists whose Travel insurance does not cover medical expenses for hospitals or hotel isolation for mild asymptomatic cases. .

A new ruling from the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) last week stated that if a tourist’s insurance does not cover all medical expenses for Covid-19 infection, they themselves are responsible. of these expenses.

Mr Yuthasak said this means hotels that let customers through the monitoring process and customers who refuse to pay their medical bills will face legal action.

The CCSA subcommittee has yet to discuss insurance options and sanctions in detail.

In principle, insurance premiums could start from 800 baht per person to cover hotel isolation costs, which start from 30,000 baht, he said.

“We have previously sought the cooperation of hotels to look after guests during the health screening process. The new rule mandates strict adherence to health measures. Hotels cannot neglect the process or they risk being removed of Thailand Pass registration, making them unable to accommodate any incoming guests,” Mr Yuthasak said.

Over the past few months of the Test & Go program, there have been several reports of infected tourists disappearing from hotels.

Some hotel guests refused to be taken to hospital because they were worried about the expense, said Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, president of the Thai Hotels Association (THA).

According to hotel reports, the main problems were insufficient number of hospital beds and high medical expenses in hospitals.

Some tourists also worried that their insurance claims would be rejected because their policies did not cover medical treatment in hospitals or hotel isolation, although these have become popular options for asymptomatic patients in Thailand.

“Insurance options will help cover expenses in case tourists become infected with Covid-19 or have high-risk contacts requiring isolation,” she said.

With hotel operations during the pandemic being so difficult due to the higher costs associated with hiring more staff for additional health checks at their properties, THA disagrees with sanctions for hotels in the new CCSA decision.

This rule will hurt small operators who have tight operational budgets and cannot afford to increase their staff immediately, unlike large hoteliers, Ms Marisa said.


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