Thai Universal Coverage Scheme: Toward a More Stable System

  • Narin Jaroensubphayanont College of Local Administration, Khon Kaen University
Keywords: Thailand’s health care, Universal coverage scheme, policy analysis, health care benefit


The Universal Coverage Scheme (UCS) (also known as the 30-Baht Scheme), one of the main Thai public health care benefit schemes, faces significant challenges from cost, equity and behavior change. The indications suggested that, at the current stage, there is a growing concern for moral hazards and over-utilization of health care services. The program’s financial sustainability is endangered by two major cost drivers: the demographic transition and the technological advancement. Furthermore, there is evidence of inequity in current policy implementation. Those perceived challenges required immediate policy responses. This analysis examines five policy alternatives: (1) the status quo policy, (2) creating a policymaking body with a dual sector employment system, (3) a required 100 Baht monthly contribution, (4) privatization with a dual sector system, and (5) privatization with an insurance premium voucher for all citizens. All five policy alternatives are assessed in terms of their ability to meet the following seven goals: reasonable cost, administration effectiveness, equity in health-care features, equity in government subsidies, quality of care, financial sustainability, and political feasibility. Based on this assessment, the analysis concludes that the government should adopt privatization with a dual sector system (a tax-free health benefit from their employers for the formal sector and a 2,500 Baht insurance premium voucher for the informal sector). Privatization with a dual sector system will require less government budget; will create conscious use of the health care service; and, with open competition, will make the quality of the health care service better.


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How to Cite
Jaroensubphayanont, N. (2017). Thai Universal Coverage Scheme: Toward a More Stable System. Social Science Asia, 3(4), 54-66. Retrieved from
Research Article