Singapore has an excellent public health system with government-funded hospitals and clinics available to anyone. Government health coverage, on the other hand, is limited only to citizens and permanent residents.
Every working Singapore citizen and permanent resident is required by law to contribute to the Medisave fund in his Central Provident Fund (CPF) account, a compulsory savings account. Medisave funds can be used to pay for hospitalization expenses for self or dependents, including spouses, children, parents and grandparents who are either citizens or permanent residents.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) uses two main networks to deliver healthcare; the National Health Group and Singapore Health Services.
The difference between private and government healthcare costs is quite small so the majority of expatriates choose private healthcare. There are private hospitals and clinics throughout Singapore and the fees vary so it is often worth investigating a few before choosing your provider. The Camden Medical Centre on Grange Road is home to a wide range of expat orientated clinics, as too is the Paragon Medical Centre in Paragon Shopping Centre. The most well known and perhaps most popular expat private healthcare provider is Raffles Medical Group, who run over 25 different clinics throughout the island.
You should always register with your health care provider on arrival in Singapore.
Private Health Insurance
Expatriates in Singapore are not covered by any state medical plans and instead are usually insured through their employers’ collective plans or through individual private health care insurance. The premium varies from between $S3k and $S20k annually depending upon the level of coverage you require. If you are on a very tight budget you can also consider an insurance with co-payment, which means you will pay an excess in the event of a claim.
Your home country insurance policy may not provide health coverage in Singapore. Those that do likely won’t have systems in place to directly cover health care costs. Thus, most expatriates with group plans must make medical payments upfront and file claims thereafter. Check the details on your coverage with your insurance company before buying a plan from another, though. Note also that insurance companies will not cover you for pre-existing conditions prior to entering Singapore. Therefore, in the case of pregnancies and pre-existing medical conditions, it is best to negotiate with your insurance company at home to discuss whether they can cover you when you are in Singapore instead of switching to a new local provider.
- AIA American International Assurance: AIA is a subsidiary of American International Group, Inc. (AIG), and offers life & health insurance. 1 Robinson Road, AIA tower, Tel: 1800 248 8000.
- Allianz Insurance Company: An Insurance company covering all non-business aspects such as health and home insurance. 3 Temasek Avenue, #09-01 Centennial Tower, Tel: 6297 2529.
- BUPA – International Medical Insurers: Expats in Singapore can now buy international private medical insurance (IPMI) from the expatriate insurer, Bupa International, who are in a partnership agreement with Singapore-based International Medical Insurers, IMI, Tel: 6298 2266.
- GlobalHealth Asia: Provider of private medical insurance. Personal and Corporate plans available. Plans provide freedom to choose any physician, hospital or clinic in any country around the world, Tel: 6557 0896.
- Great Eastern: A life insurance group offering all types of health insurance, investment, children, home and more, Tel: 1800 248 2888.