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Author Topic: More discussion about health coverage  (Read 1126 times)


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More discussion about health coverage
« on: June 15, 2013, 04:22:09 AM »
Sat 15 Jun 2013, 10:54 am

Hey there all you wild and crazy guys!

I have been thinking about my decision to go with BUPA health coverage a few years ago at a premium that is painful-but-affordable, sort of.  The problem is that I don't think I am accomplishing much.  There is not enough coverage to deal adequately with any of the really nasty, catastrophic  things that might come up.  At the same time, between the 50K THB premium and a couple of credit cards, I could probably self-insure for anything that my  BUPA currently takes care of.

So I approached Paul Rowe whom I have know for more than ten years about switching to coverage with a higher deductible to deal with catastrophic, and then self-insuring for the more predictable, routine nasties.

He was nice enough to provide a lengthy reply which I have reproduced below.  I didn't understand a lot of it, but I am sure that will clarify with more discussion over time.  However, this is a perennial issue, so am posting here for public discussion.  However, it seems to me that my relationship with BUPA has almost been like a superstition or talisman rather than something truly practical and beneficial for 50K THB per year.

Quote from: Paul Rowe
From:  Paul Rowe  
Subject:  Re: Market Scope - The CSM Ltd Report On The Investment Markets - June 14 2013
Date:  Fri, 14 Jun 2013 12:56:05 +0700
To:  Rex Alexander  

Hi Rex

Its great to hear from you !!!!

I have not as yet received your BUPA renewal notice but have requested a pdf version to be emailed to me.

Judging by your annual premium last year and factoring in the usual medical insurance inflation I would guesstimate at this juncture that your 2013 premium is likely to be circa THB 50K.

Looking at your queries re "better" and "more" coverage the answer is a resounding yes (currently that is as you are quickly approaching that age whereby most insurers will not offer terms !!).

In terms of high deductibles - that is also currently possible.

BUPA however do not in my opinion offer a contract in this market space of "International Quality Cover" that compares favourable to providers such as William Russell and NZI Interglobal.

William Russell do not offer Thi baht denominated contracts nor do they offer a local presence - there contracts despite those limitations are extremely competitive in terms of costs, benefits and the all important service factor (I personally use them).

NZI Interglobal on the other hand do offer a THB denominated contract and do have a local presence staffed by both well spoken Thais and European management.

You will not however achieve "better" and "more" in the same cost category as BUPA Thailand whose contracts are largely aimed at the Thai population.

Having said that NZI Interglobal recently stated :

With effect from 1st April 2013, our Thailand UltraCare remiums will be reduced by 15% from our published January 2013 rates for all new and renewal individual business and all new group business.

How have we achieved this?

The new business development team met with our Thailand-based intermediaries over the last 10 months, and whilst we received very positive feedback on our products and servicing across the board, our pricing presented a recurring concern.

We work extremely hard on a number of fronts to ensure that we do our best to contain annual premium increases against rising medical costs and incidence of fraud. Below are just a few of these cost-containment measures:

• Stringent medical provider management
• Robust and fair claims processes
• A dedicated fraud prevention unit
• Flexible underwriting terms

Having assessed the valuable feedback that you have provided to us in addition to our continued focus on delivering quality at a competitive price, we are extremely pleased to announce adjusted rates effective from 1st April 2013.

Who benefits?

The 15% discount will be available on all Thailand UltraCare plans for all new and renewal individual business and all new group business. Renewal group business will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Our generous rate reduction bucks the trend and is uncommon in the marketplace both locally and internationally where most companies, if not all, are increasing their premiums yearly, some by double digits!

We hope that this demonstrates our commitment to business in Thailand, and will allow you to convert more enquiries into sales.

I have attached the aforementioned January 1 2013 premium rate schedule which needs to be reduced by the 15% discount referred to above.

In addition you will note from the NZI Excess Discounts file that a client opting for 340,000 THB policy deductible will receive a further 40% rate reduction.

When combined these two discounts are sizeable.

NZI also offer a No Claims Discount incentive !!

When viewed against the attached benefits schedule the argument for a switch to NZI Interglobal becomes compelling - albeit at an increased rate to that of BUPA's.

Please take a read and let me know your thoughts.

I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Kind Regards
Paul Rowe - CertPFS

Financial Advisors To The Expatriate Community Since 1985

Portfolio Management | Medical & Life Insurance | Retirement & Savings | School Fees | Mutual Funds & ETF's | QROPS Schemes

We greatly respect and value all personal introductions and referrals - its our ultimate compliment !

Tel: +66 (0) 2 994 5010
Mob: +66 (0) 818 428 438
Call & Connect using : csmltd
Web : www.csmltd.com

 I hope this generates some useful discussion.


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More discussion about health coverage
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2013, 10:20:10 PM »
This is very good information. Yes, I would personally prefer lower annual premiums and a higher deductible for catastrophic incidents. 50,000 baht is a bit of money, although a heck of a lot lower than the COBRA self-insured program in the United States.

Since most of the regular doctor visit stuff in Thailand is pretty affordable, better to pay cash for those things.

Especially when you get older and your coverage costs go higher.

Easy, it seems, to feel comfortable going with the BUPA coverage that most people seem to have, as it feels comforting to use what you have always used in Thailand.