Health Insurance Singapore Comparison: Choose the Best Plan for You

Jia Hui

Jia Hui is a content marketer who loves helping others and hopes to make this world a kinder place in any way she can.

Jia Hui

Jia Hui is a content marketer who loves helping others and hopes to make this world a kinder place in any way she can.

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In Singapore, even though some of us are certain that MediShield would be adequate to meet our healthcare requirements, this may adapt as we become older. It is incredibly an unfortunate circumstance that none of us would like to find ourselves in to be caught uninformed during a medical emergency. Because of this, obtaining a basic health insurance plan is a crucial part of becoming an adult.

Why Do You Need Health Insurance Plans?

One of the largest financial hazards you may ever encounter is the cost of healthcare, which is why you need health insurance. Whether it be public or private health insurance, protection from pre and post hospitalisation and medical expenditures, along with medical bills resulting from diseases, injuries, or impairments, is the essence of health insurance. Indeed, your savings and retirement money might be wiped out by just one pricey accident or sickness. When faced with the rising expense of healthcare, you are going to require health insurance.

Health Insurance vs. Life Insurance

Health Insurance

  • Pays all medical expenditures in Singapore, such as prescription drugs, hospital bills, and other associated fees.
  • With MediShield Life, which is available to all Singapore citizens and PRs, you already have a foundational health insurance plan where premiums can be paid through the CPF MediSave account.
  • Health insurance is available in four different forms: MediShield Life, Integrated Shield, and international health insurance (local and global providers).
  • Although it costs more and can be taken out from your CPF MediShield, IPs cover you in A wards and even private medical facilities.
  • There are other IP riders that you can add to your location to obtain larger coverage, but you’ll have to shell out cash for these upgrades.
  • Plans for international health insurance from regional and international carriers offer broader coverage, including regional or global coverage.
  • International health insurance policies frequently offer inpatient and outpatient treatments, common check-ups, chronic ailments, pregnancy and infant care, dental and vision advantages as well as evacuation and repatriation coverage.

Life Insurance

  • Provides you with a repayment referred to as the sum assured in the event of an accident, injury, death, or complete and permanent disability. Depending on how serious the result is, the compensation changes.
  • This kind of insurance is intended to make up for your decreased earning capacity.
  • It is more suited if you intend to have kids or if you have any additional dependents, in order to support them while you are incapable to work.
  • Term life insurance is substantially less expensive and offers less coverage than whole life. Typically, it covers you for the length of time you want, such as 10 to 30 years. However, even if you make it through the term, there will be no payout available to you.
  • Even though whole life insurance is much more expensive and provides lifetime coverage, you are occasionally eligible for a cash payout.

Is it Necessary to Have A Private Health Insurance Plan?

It is preferable to obtain an additional health insurance policy rather than relying solely on your employer insurance if you have relatives with a history of health issues or are an ex-pat living or working in Singapore. This is because Singapore’s expensive healthcare may be difficult to afford if the money you make is insufficient to cover it.

Health Problems Run in the Family

It is usually safer to have protection against health concerns, particularly if you are aware that members of your family have conditions that may or may not run in the family. If you’re a Singaporean or Permanent Resident, you may prevent exorbitant hospital bill by purchasing comprehensive health insurance plans or private health insurance plans to go along with MediShield Life. It is still advisable to be covered against all possibilities since unforeseen events like you becoming sick or having an accident might happen.

Employer Offers an Inadequate Level of Insurance

No matter your citizenship, there is no assurance that the comprehensive health insurance plan your employer offers will be intensive enough to protect you and your family. Therefore, having a private health insurance plan or co insurance that is customized to your specific medical needs will, as needed, support your family’s general expenses for healthcare.

Frequent Travel Is Necessary

If you live in Singapore and frequently go abroad for business or other obligations, acquiring an international health insurance plan would be helpful since it will provide you with round-the-clock medical treatment wherever you go. The majority of the time, having international health insurance premiums is sufficient, but if you travel frequently, having the best health insurance plan to supplement your medical coverage may be necessary.

Health Insurance Singapore Comparison

The Integrated Shield plan, IP riders, and overseas health insurance policies can supplement one of your basic healthcare coverage since MediShield Life is somewhat comparable to the most essential layer of health insurance in Singapore. Listed below is a brief overview of the various kinds of health insurance coverage offered in Singapore, in case you’ve been still unclear or attempting to compare health insurance plans.

MediShield Life

  • Only hospitalization in a public hospital’s B or C ward is covered. A top-up is necessary if you wish to stay in an A ward.
  • Do not pay for post-hospitalization care, such as doctor follow-up appointments.
  • An Integrated Shield Plan may be included as a backup.

Integrated Shield Plan

Essentially, you can use your CPF MediShield up to the MediShield extra withdrawal restrictions to pay the higher price for IPs, which protects you in A wards and even private hospitals.

IP Riders

Since IP riders are optional, you can add them to your contract to increase some types of coverage, get broader coverage, reduce any additional healthcare costs, or both.

International Health Insurance Plan

Generally, you’re often paying for a much larger health insurance plan that typically covers both inpatient and outpatient care, regular physicals, chronic diseases, pregnancy and infant coverage, dental and vision insurance, evacuation and repatriation coverage, and others.

Types of Health Insurance in Singapore

Hospital Income Insurance

Hospital income insurance provides you with a certain amount of money each day you are hospitalized from the insurer, with a limit on the number of days per accident or sickness.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term nursing care that often comprises support with everyday tasks like washing, dressing, and eating is provided to you by long-term care insurance in the form of a fixed monthly cash payment. Insurers frequently provide this coverage in ElderShield supplements.

Disability Income Insurance

A fixed proportion of your monthly gross income can be replaced by income thanks to disability income insurance. As a result, if you earn $5,000 per month, your insurer may let you cover 80% of your income, which would indicate that if an accident rendered you crippled, your monthly compensation would amount to $4,000 until you were once again able to do your job.

Hospitalization Insurance

Hospitalization insurance allows you to get payment from the insurance company for any associated medical charges, bills for hospitalization, and treatment charges. The extent of the coverage you receive will depend on the specific policy.

Critical Illness Insurance

In the case you are diagnosed with a serious disease like cancer, a heart attack, renal failure, a coma, or more, critical illness insurance provides you with upfront compensation from the insurance provider to aid with high medical costs.

Terminal Illness Insurance

When you are diagnosed with a terminal disease, which means you have an advanced condition and have been given a certain period to live, a terminal illness insurance plan, like critical sickness insurance policies, pays you a lump payment.

What Can I Do With My Health Insurance?

As we’ve seen, Medishield Life offers a rather minimal level of coverage that mostly covers inpatient care received in public hospitals. Consequently, private health insurance plans typically build on this framework and give you additional coverage for any additional medical requirements or concerns you might have. As a result, private health insurance providers in Singapore provide a variety of Integrated Shield Plans, which include Medishield Life and other private insurance coverage to address various needs. 

The following are some additional health advantages that private health insurance may offer:

Hospitalization. Generally, hospitalization in A/B1-type wards in hospitals that are private or public may be covered in numerous ways by private health insurance. Therefore, if you prefer more modern facilities and a higher level of specialized care, this may be something to consider, notably for your family members and parents.

Physician of Choice. When it pertains to selecting your healthcare provider, healthcare institutions in general give you more alternatives. That said, private health insurance could be a smart choice for you if you want to have a choice in who your doctor is.

Is It Far Too Late to Purchase Health Insurance for Seniors?

Of course, the quick response is a categorical no. Everybody, regardless of age or stage of life, has access to health insurance. Another widespread myth is that health insurance prices are particularly high for the elderly. In reality, no matter when we get health insurance, the rates for Integrated Shield Plans rise over time as we get older. No matter which plans you select, your insurance premiums will increase as you age.

Health Insurance for Elderly: What Is Important?

Here are some crucial factors you should think about before subscribing to coverage for your elderly parents’ health insurance:

Current Medical Conditions

It’s crucial to know whether your elderly have any current medical issues. Insurance providers frequently turn away candidates with unsatisfactory medical histories. In certain cases, medical conditions or illnesses like cancer or other chronic disorders can call for outright rejection. Nevertheless, it is to be expected that the cost will be much higher in terms of coverage.

Maximum Age to Purchase a Policy

There is often a maximum entrance age for insurance plans that you should be aware of. In Singapore, it is typically fixed at 75 years of age for the majority of insurance coverage. Also, keep in mind that some policies offer coverage for life, so it doesn’t necessarily follow that the policy will end when your parents reach the age of 75. Simply put, it implies that once you age 75, you are no longer eligible to apply for them.

Expenses and Coverage

Different health insurance plans, or Integrated Shield Plans, are offered by different insurance businesses in Singapore. These plans offer distinct coverage for several community hospitals and private wards. Preference for upscale ward designs or private hospitals will typically result in higher charges. Also, you ought to carefully assess the expenses of health insurance as well as its coverage to determine your maximum budget and the minimal level of coverage you are prepared to accept.


Before committing to the insurance, it’s critical to pay careful consideration to these exclusions and make sure you comprehend them. If you have any questions regarding any exclusions, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, keep in mind that the time that must pass before the policy becomes effective may be regarded as an exclusion.

Individual Healthcare Preferences

Involve your parents in the decision-making process before committing to any health insurance coverage for them. Engage them in discussion to get their thoughts on health insurance and the kinds of concerns and apprehensions they have over their health. By keeping this line of communication open, it is possible to ensure that the health insurance plan chosen for them meets their wants and concerns in terms of healthcare.

What Insurance Does Your Loved One Currently Have?

Essentially, your elderly loved ones would already be registered in a plethora of necessary programs and plans offered by the state if they are Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents. These regulations are made to guarantee that everyone who stays in Singapore for an extended period can afford basic medical care, particularly when they get older and retire.


In general, MediSave is a savings program that asks employed or self-employed individuals to set aside a portion of their monthly income into an account that may only be used for authorized medical insurance and hospitalization costs.

Almost all healthcare-related expenditures can be covered by MediSave savings, including the following frequent situations for senior patients:

  • Vaccinations
  • Health examinations
  • Treatment for acute problems
  • Chronic illness management, including diabetes, renal and heart disease, stroke, and dementia
  • Cancer therapy
  • Psychological assistance
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Palliative care or end-of-life care

MediShield Life

Every Singaporean and Permanent Resident must purchase MediShield Life, a type of mandatory health insurance that covers a wide variety of healthcare-related expenditures up to a cap, much as MediSave. Charges from MediShield Life, nevertheless, won’t immediately drain your hard-earned MediSave funds, unlike MediSave. Rather, you will only be required to pay a low premium that is determined by your socioeconomic situation and can be covered by MediSave.

Also, despite having a yearly claims cap, MediShield Life fails to have a lifetime claims cap. Therefore, no matter their MediSave savings, MediShield Life guarantees that their clients will be covered and able to afford basic healthcare for the duration of their lives.


ElderShield premiums are paid by MediSave on behalf of the client or their dependents, do not grow over time, and end when the client becomes 65 years old, even if they remain in effect until a claim is filed. The sum of all premiums completed by age 65 for the ElderShield 300 and ElderShield 400 plan types, accordingly, will amount to approximately $3700 or $4800 for men and $5100 or $6300 for women.

Insurance to Take Into Account for Your Family

By upgrading their insurance, your seniors can benefit from wider coverage, more reimbursements, more alternatives for treatments, and higher-quality care without needing to pay hefty medical bills when the time comes. Check out this MOH comparison of several health plans to have a more thorough comprehension of what type of health insurance coverage is preferable to apply for.

MediSave-Approved Private Integrated Shield Plans

Generally speaking, an Integrated Shield Plan is a privately managed improvement to the insurance protection offered by MediShield Life. Higher claim limitations yearly and for each illness are often included in this increased coverage, as well as the expenditures of admission in class B1 or A wards of public or private hospitals. In addition to these advantages, various levels of IPs provided by various private insurers may also offer further advantages including the incorporation of organ transplant incentives, a pre-hospitalization advantage, and an extended post-hospitalization claim period.

CareShield Life

To replace the privately managed ElderShield program and offer lifelong cash reimbursements for long-term care in the event of severe impairment, CareShield Life was recently implemented in 2020. If a person enrols in CareShield Life in 2020 at the age of 30, for instance, a claim made in 2020 would result in a compensation of $600 monthly for the duration of the person’s life, but a claim made after 2057 would result in a payment of $1200 monthly for the remainder of the person’s life.

Private Insurance Coverage

In addition to government-sponsored programs, you might want to think about spending extra money on insurance policies offered by private insurance firms, which would give even greater coverage and bigger payments. These plans may typically be divided into three categories:

Health insurance

These intellectual properties are utilized to improve MediShield Life coverage. Costs associated with illnesses, including those associated with surgery, hospital stay, related outpatient expenditures, and chronic disease management programme in Singapore. By providing extra advantages such as enabling claims for pre-hospitalization, nursing home services, and alternative healthcare costs, some IPs may provide greater coverage.

  • The costs for plans that pay for stays in public hospitals can vary from $700 per year for a 65-year-old up to  $2000 per year for a 74-year-old.
  • The costs for private hospital coverage can vary from $2000 per year for a 65-year-old up to $5000 per year for a 74-year-old.

Personal accident insurance

Accidental and certain infectious disease-related outpatient costs. Payments are also made for fatalities and accidents-related permanent impairments. For instance, the consultation costs, scans, medicine, equipment, and other outpatient treatments can typically be covered by personal accident insurance in the unfavourable circumstance that your senior has a fall and sustains superficial wounds that do not necessitate hospitalisation. For people under the age of 65, the cost of the premiums for this often ranges from $200 to $1,000 each year.

Life insurance

In the case of a terminal disease, a permanent disability, or death, the one-time payment is to replace income. But keep in mind that most policies are only accessible to people under 65 who are in excellent health; if your seniors are over 65, they might not be able to afford life insurance. Term life insurance for people aged 55 to 64 also costs roughly $300 per year.

To learn more about the policies and costs of various insurance providers, talk to financial consultants from those firms or read the government guide on health insurance. For your ageing loved ones at all stages, Retire Genie offers elderly studio apartments in Singapore to maintain having your seniors interested and active, our skilled care staff can offer companionship, nursing services, nighttime caring, home therapy, and even more.

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Your elderly support services, now easily accessible anytime and anywhere in Singapore you are. You can ease your worries knowing that help is always on the way. Download our app today and try it for yourself!