You don’t want to be in a foreign country without any health insurance. Every so often I hear of someone ending up in hospital and having to foot a massive account. Cheap by US or UK standards but not having access to any money when in hospital could add more stress on an already stressful event. Kidney stones are very common amongst expats in Thailand and in the past 4 years I have met 2 who have had that problem.
Another is motorcycle accidents which are so common that most accident coverage in Thailand will only pay 50% of hospital fees for a motorbike accident if the insured person was the driver.
Thailand has many private hospitals which are internationally accredited and medical tourism has kicked off in Thailand some time ago. It is estimated that more than 1 million people come to Thailand every year for medical procedures alone. There are government hospitals however they are crowed like any other government hospital anywhere in the world, so always ensure that you have medical cover.
There is no ambulance service in Thailand such as what you would expect in the West. The ambulances in Thailand are usually owned by the hospitals. Of note however is that medical malpractice lawsuits are not very common and rarely heard of in Thailand. One of the reasons why medical health care is so inexpensive as there are lower levels of insurance.
There are 3 main insurance companies for health coverage in Thailand:
BUPA is well known in Thailand and have different coverage options.
AIA is also well known in Thailand and used extensively by government employers.
Thai Health Insurance
THI also sells coverage, so shop around as to what is best suited to your needs and age.