As you take the huge step of moving to a new country, you need peace of mind about your health. You need to ensure that healthcare services will be easily available for you and your family without having to hand over your last dollar. We highly recommend purchasing Singapore expat health insurance to keep yourself and your loved ones covered.
Ask yourself some important questions. Do you understand how the Singapore healthcare system works? How do you get access to health services in Singapore? Have you taken into account the possible language barrier? Do you know what to do in case of a medical emergency?
Although Singapore has a world-class healthcare system that ranks 6th in the list of the best healthcare in the world, decoding how Singapore's national health system works is not easy.
An Overview of Singapore’s Healthcare System
Singapore has a robust health coverage system to improve the health and welfare of its community. Foresight and fortitude have helped build Singapore's healthcare system to what it is today.
Singapore has developed a robust and comprehensive system with healthcare outcomes such as high life expectancy, low rates of ill health, and low mortality. However, Singapore's healthcare system can be intricate and expensive.
Singapore has developed strategies to build an improved and inclusive healthcare system for the future. Their mission is characterized by three strategies:
- Promote good health and reduce illness by educating the public on how they can maintain a healthy lifestyle
- Ensure access to good and affordable care by ensuring that healthcare in Singapore is distinguished by good clinical outcomes and professional standards
- Pursue medical excellence
Singapore’s Hospital Services: An Overview
Hospital services in Singapore are divided into tiers: A, B1, B2, and C.
Tier A gets you a private room, private bathroom, air conditioning, and your choice of doctor, but the patient pays for everything.
If you choose Tier C, you get an open ward with six or eight beds, a shared bathroom, and an assigned doctor, but the government covers up to 80 percent of the cost.
The B tiers range in between these two.
When selecting a hospital, factors such as wait times, comfort, quality of doctors, communication, and medical facilities will come into play.
Singapore Public Health Insurance
Singapore's healthcare philosophy is to ensure quality and affordable basic medical services for all.
Singapore’s Ministry of Healthcare has put together a system that works towards championing a healthy nation through the 3M framework. The 3Ms are:
MediSave: MediSave is the portion of the CPF (Central Provident Fund) savings account that one can use to pay for your personal or immediate family's medical bills. MediSave can be used for hospitalizations, day surgeries, and selected outpatient treatments including selected health screening and vaccinations. It also covers stays in community hospitals and hospices.
MediShield: MediShield is a basic insurance plan that helps cover large hospital bills and selected outpatient treatments for an annual premium. MediSave is used to pay medical premiums for oneself and immediate family members.
MediFund: MediFund is a healthcare fund set up by the government to help needy Singaporeans who are unable to afford their medical expenses. MediFund works like a financial protective umbrella to help Singaporeans in need.
Though mandatory for a Singapore citizen or a permanent resident, as an expat, you will not have access to any Singapore public healthcare insurance. The Singaporean healthcare program is not framed to serve expats, leaving expatriates ineligible for public healthcare. For expats, in such cases, the price difference between public and private care isn’t huge. That's why it's so important for you to have expat health insurance set up beforehand.
Singapore Private Health Insurance
As an expat, if you have a Singapore medical insurance policy from your employer, chances are that it is the most basic version. Medical costs for critical illnesses and unforeseen emergencies can escalate quickly, so expats are recommended to purchase additional private health insurance for protection against enormous medical bills.
What You Must Look for in Expat Health Insurance in Singapore
Having the right policy at the right time will ensure that you are protected from any unexpected financial burdens. Making sure you have got the right healthcare insurance can be really important while living in Singapore, which provides a sophisticated and developed healthcare system. As an expat, accessing the healthcare system in Singapore can be quite difficult and quite expensive.
Consider the following factors when selecting an expat medical care insurance policy:
Pre-existing conditions – If you have chronic or long-term pre-existing conditions, then getting an insurance plan that includes them will be crucial.
Portability – Once your assignment comes to an end in Singapore and you move to another country, you should be able to take your health insurance plan with you so that you can continue to be covered in the new country.
Renewability – Choose the right insurance company that guarantees the renewal of its health insurance plans, safeguarding your health insurance from being cancelled.
International Health Insurance for Expats in Singapore
A more popular and preferred option for globally mobile expats is international health insurance. International health insurance plans tend to be not geographically specific, meaning that you can live anywhere and still be eligible for medical treatment.
An international plan tends to have very high levels of coverage with no sub-limits or capping, so you can choose the hospital you go to and the surgeon you are treated by. Fundamentally, an international plan has much better coverage and gives you a lot more choice.
International health insurance for expats can provide standard (inpatient) and comprehensive (inpatient and outpatient) coverage. Many expatriates in Singapore find it affordable to pay for outpatient services out of their pocket, as these services are economical there. However, as an expat, it is crucial to have comprehensive international health insurance that covers critical illnesses, inpatient treatments, and outpatient services.
Get expat health insurance today to follow Singapore’s vision for the future: “Live well, live long, and with peace of mind”.