It appears that the new “rule” about long-stay retirees requiring medical insurance applies only to one-year visas issued by Thai embassies and consulates abroad.
But not to annual extensions of stay awarded by the Immigration police bureau. Confusing indeed, but the former report to the Foreign Ministry and the latter to the Interior authorities.
In any case, the suggested minimum insurance cover of Bt400,000 would hardly cover serious surgery or long-stay hospital treatment, even assuming that exclusion clauses and pre-existing conditions did not kick in. Moreover, all the publicised cases involving inability to pay medical bills or requiring crowd-sourcing to get home have been tourists and not retirees.
As Fagin announced in the musical Oliver, “I think we’d better think it out again!”