Thailand May Make Travel Insurance Mandatory

Travel insurance may become mandatory for visitors to Thailand as the country considers ways to reduce what it estimates is an $88 million a year expense to the country for treating tourists at its local hospitals.

According to a recent report in a United Kingdom publication, officials at Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports are discussing legislation that would make it a requirement for visitors to show proof of travel insurance to immigration officials before they are allowed to enter the country.

The publication, Verdict, said that “Other countries suffering from similar tourist-related medical costs could look to implement similar policies.” For example, Verdict proposed, if the UK leaves the European Economic Area as a result of the Brexit vote, it may consider making travel insurance compulsory for visitors, “especially considering the current pressure” on Britain’s National Health Service, “and the fact that health tourism costs the service millions each year.”

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