December 7, 2023

Health Insurance Singapore- All You Should Know

  • June 10, 2023
Health Insurance Singapore- All You Should Know

Health insurance in Singapore may rank the best in the world, but it comes at a premium price when compared to other countries in Southeast Asia. Health insurance plays a crucial role in safeguarding families and individuals from the financial burden of medical expenses. Moreover, for citizens and permanent residents, a mandatory national health insurance plan named Medishield subsidizes medical fees for specialist treatment and hospital capacity. In Singapore, a developed nation known for its high-quality healthcare system, health insurance is vital to comprehensive financial planning. This article offers a comprehensive overview of health insurance in Singapore, including its importance, types of coverage, key features, and considerations for choosing the right plan for medical treatments, hospitalization, and surgeries.

How Healthcare Works in Singapore:

Singapore has the best healthcare system in the world. Expats enjoy access to world-class specialists, medical staff, and excellent healthcare facilities. However, to do so, nonresidents need to be prepared to do their research and invest in decent medical insurance. 

Access to Private Health Insurance: 

While Singapore has an excellent public healthcare system, many individuals prefer the added benefits and flexibility private health insurance offers. Health insurance allows policyholders to access various personal healthcare options, including specialist consultations and shorter waiting times. 

Does health insurance cover critical illness:

Critical illness Insurance benefit provides coverage against specific life-threatening diseases. Treating such a critical illness may require multiple hospital visits over a long period. In addition to hospitalization expenses, there will be other costs like fees for doctor visits, medical expenses, treatment costs, and more. 

Are there any penalties for not being covered by medical health insurance in Singapore:

The government has measures to help lower-income individuals afford basic Medishield coverage; hence anyone caught not paying for the premium will be held with the same severity as tax defaulters. This may involve a fine of up to 17 % of the outstanding tips paying back interest lost to the Medishield Life Fund, recovering from the amount the defaulter’s employers or bank, or taking legal action against the defaulter. 

If you are on a Work Permit or S- Pass and don’t have any company health insurance Singapore coverage, your employer may be fined up to S$5,000 or jailed for up to 6 months. Though, you won’t be penalized under such circumstances. 

Key Features of Health Insurance Singapore:

Some key features of health insurance in Singapore are listed below. 

1. Lifetime Renewability: 

Health insurance in Singapore typically offers lifetime renewability, ensuring that policyholders can maintain coverage even as they age or develop pre-existing conditions.

2. Pre-Hospitalization and Post-Hospitalization Coverage: 

Many health insurance policies often include coverage for pre-hospitalization diagnostic tests and post-hospitalization follow-up treatments, ensuring comprehensive care for policyholders.

3. Prescriptions: 

If you take medicine on repeat prescriptions, be aware that international drugs are not accepted in Singapore. You must visit the doctor and get a Singapore Prescription for your medication. If this is covered by health insurance in Singapore, you will get this organized as soon as possible. 

4. Additional Benefits: 

Some health insurance plans provide additional advantages like outpatient consultations, alternative therapies, maternity, and dental coverage. These health insurance Singapore features provide policyholders with a broader range of healthcare options tailored to their needs.

Considerations for Choosing the Right Plan:

Choosing the right path is essential for obtaining health insurance in Singapore. Below are listed some suggestions for the same.

1. Affordability: 

Examine your budget and choose a plan that provides adequate coverage without straining your finances. Compare premiums, deductibles, co-payments, and claim limits to find a plan that suits your budgetary requirements.

2. Coverage Needs:

Consider age, family history, and medical conditions to assess your healthcare needs. Opt for a health insurance Singapore plan that offers comprehensive coverage for potential risks and aligns with your specific healthcare requirements.

3. Provider Network: 

If you prefer sure doctors, hospitals, or healthcare institutions, ensure that the health insurance Singapore plan has a broad network that includes your selected providers.

4. Policy Exclusions: 

Carefully review policy exclusions, limitations, waiting periods, and claim procedures to understand what is covered and not entirely. This will help avoid unpleasant surprises during claims.

Which insurance company should I choose?

Many large insurers in Singapore provide health insurance. These include 

  • Prudential. 
  • NTUC Income 
  • AXA 
  • AIA 
  • Great Eastern and 
  • Aviva

Again you can visit the insurance comparison websites to get a summary of the different policies selected insurers offer. However, some insurance policies are not listed on these sites and are only available through agents or directly on the insurer’s website. 

  • GoBear 
  • MoneySmart 
  • PolicyPal 
  • NowCompare.

How Does Health Insurance Work in Singapore?

If you are an expat without access to a Medisave account, there is no need to worry. Buying private health insurance in Singapore means you can access the same system as a Singapore resident, often with fewer benefits. 

Having private health insurance in Singapore means you have automatic access to private hospitals and specialists in the area. In this way, not receiving government subsidies is seen as a blessing in disguise. Hence, many expats choose private health insurance for a shorter wait period and above-average standard of care. 


Health insurance Singapore is an essential component of financial planning in Singapore, offering protection against rising healthcare costs and ensuring access to quality healthcare services. Understanding the different types of coverage, key features, and considerations for choosing the right plan empowers individuals and families to make informed decisions regarding their health insurance needs.


1. How does health insurance work in Singapore? 

A-  Singapore’s public health care is funded by taxes, which only cover about a fourth of Singapore’s total health costs. Individuals and their employers pay for the rest in the form of mandatory life insurance schemes and reductions from the compulsory savings plan or the Central Provident Fund. (CPF)

2. What is the minimum insurance in Singapore?

A- From July 1, employers of work permit and Spass holders will need to provide their workers higher medical insurance coverage with an annual claim limit of at least $60,000, up from the current $15,000. 

3. What insurance can foreigners buy in Singapore?

A- Foreigners have many insurance options in Singapore. Medshield Life ( mandatory insurance available to citizens and permanent residents). Integrated Shield ( a MediShield plan busted coverage), employee-sponsored pal, and expat insurance.

Also Read:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *