Thailand demands proof of health insurance for foreign visitors over 50 hinh anh 1Illustrative image. (Source:

Hanoi (VNA) - Foreigners in the “risky” over-50 age group will have to present proof of health insurance when applying for Thai long-term non-immigrant visas, a Thai official said on October 9.

The rule will take effect at the end of this month to ensure the visitors can afford treatment during a maximum one-year stay and the government does not have to pick up their medical bills, deputy minister of public health Sathit Pitutecha said.

Thailand currently has to pay around 500 million THB (16.49 million USD) a year in medical bills for foreigners aged over 50, an age group the government describes as “risky”, he said.

Hospitals have to treat them because of human rights reasons, but there were people who cannot pay back the bills, Sathit said, adding that these costs become burdensome for the public health ministry, so Thailand pushed for the insurance policy.

Immigration police data shows Thailand has received more than 80,000 applications for non-immigrant visas so far this year./.