Singaporeans have one of the longest life expectancy in the world. During this long life, encountering uncertain situations requiring hospitalization are inevitable. Health insurance or medical insurance cover high healthcare costs during hospitalization.
This guide aims to provides the information on important points about the health insurance in Singapore.
There are two sections in this guide - one for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents and another for Foreigners living in Singapore.
MediShield Life, is a basic health insurance plan automatically covering all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents. MediShield Life premiums are low and MediSave account balance can be used to pay them. As the premiums are low, the coverage provided by the MediShield Life is likewise - basic.
MediShield Life covers hospitalization costs if you stay in a ward B2 or C in a Public hospital. If you are hospitalized in a Private hospital, or in ward A or B1 in Public hospital, MediShield Life provides some of the coverage (pegged to B2 or C ward prices), and you will have to pay the remaining bill amount. This remaining bill amount can be paid using MediSave but limits are applied on the MediSave usage.
MediShield does not cover overseas medical expenses and the treatment of serious pre-existing illnesses for which you have been receiving treatment during the 12 months before the start of the MediShield coverage. MediShield also does not cover treatment of congenital anomalies (medical conditions that are present at birth), cosmetic surgery, pregnancy-related charges and mental illness.
MediSave is a national medical savings scheme that helps individuals set aside part of their income to pay for their personal or approved dependents’ hospitalization, day surgery and certain outpatient expenses, as well as their healthcare needs in old age.
What if someone wants to stay in Private hospital, or ward A or B1 in Public hospital?
We have seen the MediShield Life benefits are capped for B2 or C ward hospitalization in Public hospitals. What if I want comfort during hospitalization and wish to stay in Private hospital, or ward A or B1 in Public hospital? Integrated Shield plans offer the pocket-friendly solution for it.
With an Integrated Shield insurance plan, you can cover large hospitalization bills for Private hospitals or, ward A or B1. However, you are still required to pay a portion of the bill amount. You can use Medisave or cash to pay this amount. If you wish to have a peace of mind and do not want to pay this portion of the bill, you can purchase an additional rider for it. Find out more about the riders in the next section.
Singapore's healthcare philosophy promotes personal responsibility with getting individuals to share the cost of healthcare. Read more about Healthcare in Singapore.
With this philosophy, deductible, co-insurance and proration are applied on most Health Insurance plans in Singapore
Deductible is the initial hospital charges borne by customer each policy year before the insurance policy coverage kicks-in.
Co-insurance is the percentage of hospital bill amount paid by the customer (also known as co-payment).
Proration is applied when you stay in a hospital ward higher than your health insurance plan's coverage. In such scenario, you might need to pay part of the hospital bill.
Most health insurance policies offer customer an option to purchase a health insurance rider to avoid paying these charges.
Unlike Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents, Foreigners are not automatically covered by the MediShield Life. Foreigners can purchase the health insurance plans from major life insurers in Singapore.
With an Integrated Shield insurance plan, you can cover large hospitalization bills for Private hospitals or, ward A or B1. However, you are still required to pay a portion of the bill amount. If you wish to have a peace of mind and do not want to pay this portion of the bill, you can purchase an additional rider for it. Find out more about the riders in the next section.
Apart from Integrated Shield plans, some insurers offer international health insurance plans to the foreigners living in Singapore.
Rider for Integrated Shield foreigner plans offer the same features and advantages as for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents. Read more about it above under Rider for Integrated Shield Plans.