As mentioned in the general section the Singapore health care system is very good but it’s by no means free. Roughly 80% of medical services are provided by private hospitals and clinics that operate on a commercial basis so be sure you are covered.
If you are a PR (or will become one) you have contribute to your personal retirement plan (Central Provident Fund - or CPF) and medical insurance. The ministry of health website states “Individuals are encouraged to take responsibility for their own health by saving for medical expenses. Under the Medisave scheme, every working person is required by law to set aside 6-8% of his income into his personal Medisave Account which can be used to pay for the hospitalization expenses incurred by himself or his immediate family members. MediShield, a catastrophic illness insurance scheme, is designed to help individuals meet the medical expenses from major or prolonged illnesses. Medifund acts as a safety net of last resort for those who are truly indigent.” Besides Medisave, you may want to consider taking up an expat Medical Insurance too.
If you are not a PR there are the 3 following basic possibilities for insurance:
- (Company) home country Medical Insurance; As part of your expat package you may be able to extend your (companies / company sponsored) Medical Insurance to Singapore. Check whether this is possible and if so what the limits of cover are in relation to price differences.
- Company Medical Insurance in Singapore; A Singapore based company will usually provide some form of medical coverage for their employees. The level of this coverage can vary greatly in levels of excess, maximum payments and coverage of family members, check carefully.
- Private insurance; If none of the above schemes apply to you or if you are uncomfortable with the level of coverage of them you can always insure yourself and your family privately. A number of large (International) insurers are active on the Singapore market and they offer a range of packages, you’ll have to check out which best suits your requirements and budget.
Most people will feel most comfortable getting expat Medical Insurance either in Singapore (because you are here) or in their own home country. Technically, it doesn't really matter in which country you buy Medical Insurance, as long as the terms are good. Do some shopping around on the internet to compare plans and coverages.
Please check the terms of local Singaporean Medical Insurances plans carefully. All packages we have looked at are inadequate for long-term illnesses and may leave you with huge financial problems if you fall victim of a serious injury (long-term coma) or any other complicated and expensive (long-term) treatments. Whatever you do; Make sure you are covered well! Nobody needs insurance for a broken arm, but you do for a 6-months hospitalization treatment. Make sure your plan covers this.
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