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  1. Health insurance companies are profit-making entities which exist to help reduce the fear people may have at not being able to pay generally POTENTIAL medical bills that are out of one's budget. Agreed, it would be terrible to be in an accident or have a serious illness and incur high fees for the needed treatment (without adequate insurance) but if we are playing the odds, having such an accident is extremely unlikely, although it is possible. I work for someone who holds a US passport who purchases an insurance plan for his foreign employees which is so pathetic I opted out straightaway as I did the math and saw how pointless it was to pay the premium. The problem with that plan without naming names is that if you have any serious illness or emergency it would not cover you! For example, cancer would not be covered if you got it. This boss, unfortunately, receives kickbacks from the insurance company so he pushes this onto the employees. I agree with the idea that the foreign clinics are charging an arm and a leg for services which may be provided by medical staff that has been rejected in their home countries or here in China. I would definitely prefer to be seen by a doctor who exercises his/her area of expertise say 50 times a day vs a few times in a month or year! A girlfriend and I recently had health exams at a local regional hospital. I paid cash for everything up front and while the whole endeavour was quite different from what would happen in my home country, I felt it was overall a more thorough exam at about 10% of the price overseas. This is not, however, why we buy insurance. We need insurance for major events, should they occur. I seriously do not understand the thinking of insurance companies, usually making women pay a year premium before covering maternity. If a woman is happy with the company she will stay with it, and guess what - that baby and that baby's family is very likely to be buying insurance one day as well. I guess insurance companies don't value future investors enough to cover women who are pregnant or would like to have babies soon - which should not be such a major expense as it is a NORMAL part of human health and life and NOT an illness. In fact I believe it should be factored in to ALL insurance schemes as it is a NORMAL thing and not a pre-existing condition, not a disease and wow - could even make money in the future for the insurance company. Hmmmm just food for thought. Best of luck to us all and may we not have to rush to an emergency room in the middle of the night!
  2. I have spent several hours reading previous posts about non-O visas and extensions of stay and have several questions. (One of the downsides of getting old is that the more I think I undersand all of this, the more questions I have. lol) I entered Thailand on a non O-A "retirement" visa in 2017. My current extension of stay expires November 20. I am considering letting it expire and am exploring options for staying in Thailand without having to have the health insurance required by the O-A visa extension of stay. So I am thinking about switching to a non-O visa based on "marriage to a Thai national" at Savannakhet. (I have also applied for a 20-year Elilte Superiority Extension visa as a last-resort "plan C" but would prefer to NOT hand over one million baht for it. However, based on the answers to the following questions, the Elite visa may be the least-hassle long-term option.) Question 1: It sounds like I can get a non-O visa that allows either 90-days or one-year stay in the country. Is that correct? (I understand that careful planning can get you up to 17 months stay in-country on a non-O visa.) Question 2: Can a 90-day non-O visa be extended for one year, or do you need to apply for a one-yar multi-entry non-O visa in order to able to extend it for one year? Question 3: My understanding is that non-O visas require you to "bounce" out and into the country every 90 days. Is that also true after you extend the visa before it expires? Do you still have to bounce out and into the country when you are in "extension" status? Question 4: Since I am over 50 years old, I could apply for a non-O visa based on being over 50. (I already have 800K baht in a fixed deposit account at Bangkok Bank for most of the past two years.) I assume the answers to the above questions also apply to a non-O "over 50" visa.
  3. Can anyone share with me the top / best / if any at-all expat clubs in Bangkok that a retired expat like myself could join ? I am keen on meeting new friends and networking among other expats who have tales and stories to share about expat life in Bangkok and expat life in general. I have been a expat for the best part of 30 years in Asia and have many stories, tales and secrets to share with other expats in Bangkok.
  4. I am looking for some feedback on what fellow expats consider the best hospitals in Bangkok for expats ? Both expats with and without insurance. I think it's fair to say generally the Bumrungrad hospital is the best hospital for expats in Bangkok who are covered with health insurance or have the cash to pay the hospital bills. Are there any good hospitals for expats in Bangkok that perhaps dont have the best health insurance coverage ? I have been told that the Vichaiyuth Hospital is a very good local Thai hospital that has English speaking staff and the costs are very reasonable. "Founded in 1969 and has grown and expanded over the years into a full fledged international caliber hospital of 23 storeys and 350 inpatient beds. There are more than 200 specialists and nearly 1200 staff at the hospital. " Does anyone have any experience with the other major hospitals in Bangkok ?
  5. I’m so lost. I’ve filed taxes every year I’ve lived abroad (this is year 6.) I’ve always filed FEIE. But I’m reading that the foreign tax credit is better as I have children that can be claimed. But when I open the form on the tax act website it gives me the spill about the simplified version and not being able to change that once I choose it. I have no idea what any of that means and I just find this so overwhelming. If I knew I would definitely get a refund I would probably just pay one of the pros to help me, but if it’s only a maybe I don’t have that kind of splash cash. I make a small amount of money-way under the threshold and am not self employed. Any advice? I’m so stressed . Secondly Receiving one-time cash gifts while abroad - what are my reporting requirements as the recipient? In this case, a retired parent in the US is interested in gifting a small cash amount from the sale of their house to me in Thailand (via transferwise). Before I accept their generosity, I really want to know which forms I need to be aware of for next year's filings and any thresholds? What about for the donor? I know about FBAR thresholds and needing to report on Form 114 if I exceed this year. Thank you for any caution and advice.
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