Your quick guide to health insurance in Singapore

MediShield Life, MediSave and Integrated Shield plans complement each other to give you access to healthcare without financial stress.

Whether you rarely fall ill or have a family history of illness, everyone needs health insurance. Here’s everything you should know about how our health insurance system works.

Health insurance can be puzzling with many different schemes and incomprehensible terms.

To help you make sense of things, here are four essential facts you need to know about health insurance in Singapore.

#1: Every Singaporean and permanent resident has basic health insurance called MediShield Life.

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown how unexpectedly our health can change. Singaporeans’ increasing life expectancy1 also widens the window for illnesses that could require medical attention.

With MediShield Life, all Singaporeans and permanent residents have basic health insurance that helps to pay for large hospital bills and certain costly outpatient treatments, such as renal dialysis and chemotherapy for cancer.

MediShield Life covers you regardless of your age and health condition, and it’s sized for subsidised treatment in public hospitals, pegged at Class B2 or C wards. There are also claim limits for your MediShield Life benefits.

#2: MediSave can help cover your medical expenses.

MediSave isn’t insurance but it complements your MediShield Life coverage by helping to cover certain medical costs. Besides inpatient and outpatient expenses, MediSave can also be used for long-term care needs and insurance premiums.

#3: Integrated Shield Plans can enhance your coverage and help cover stays in private hospitals.

An Integrated Shield Plan (IP) gives you additional benefits on top of your MediShield Life coverage. Here’s how an Integrated Shield Plan helps you:

  • Higher coverage for your medical bills
  • Freedom to choose more comfortable air-conditioned hospital wards for one patient or shared with up to three others (private hospital, or Class A or B1 ward in a public hospital)
  • Flexibility to select a doctor for your treatment
  • Coverage for pre- and post-hospital treatment expenses

Singlife, the provider for the MINDEF and MHA Group Insurance Scheme and Public Officers Group Insurance Scheme, is also one of the insurers which provide IPs. Here’s a look at the benefits of Singlife's IP, Singlife Shield.

Benefits of Singlife Shield 
High annual policy limit of up to S$2 million/year if you get pre-approval for your hospitalisation/treatment via Singlife's panel of medical specialists Free cover of up to S$50,000 for newborns2 up to 6 months old and discounted premium rates for children3 up to 20 Age Next Birthday
Covers pre-hospital treatment (up to 180 days) and post-hospital treatment (up to 365 days) Co-insurance capped at S$25,500/year to limit out-of-pocket expenses for large medical bills  
Priority access to a panel of more than 600 medical specialists within three working days of making an appointment Certainty of claims outcome through pre-approval process for treatments by Singlife panel specialists

#4: Even with health insurance, there’ll be upfront costs to bear before making a claim.

To encourage responsible healthcare consumption and keep costs manageable, there are two out-of-pocket expenses you’ll need to pay, either using cash or MediSave, before your insurance kicks in.

Deductible: This is the sum you have to pay for your hospital bill, before the insurer makes any payout. It’s capped at a certain amount each policy year.

Co-insurance: This is the percentage of the hospital bill, minus the deductible, that you have to pay. The insurer pays the rest.

By adding a rider such as Singlife Health Plus to your IP, you’ll be able to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses significantly. Check out how Singlife Health Plus works in this article.

Now that you have a better idea of how health insurance works in Singapore, you can protect yourself and your loved ones with confidence.

If you’re an insured member under MINDEF and MHA Group Insurance Scheme or employed under MINDEF or MHA, you can enjoy exclusive discounts when you sign up for Singlife Shield or Singlife Health Plus for yourself and your family. To find out more, click here or WhatsApp us at 9238 7393.




1 Source: The Straits Times© Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Extracted with permission. “Singaporeans’ average life expectancy to reach 85.4 years in 2040, third highest in the world: Study,” 17 October 2018.

2 Free newborn benefit applies to a newborn child(ren) from 15 days old of their age on the date of discharge from hospital after birth, whichever is later. The benefit ends on the date the newborn is 6 months old or takes up a Medisave-approved Integrated Shield Plan, whichever is earlier. Both parents must be covered under Singlife Shield Plan 1 or Plan 2 continuously for at least 10 months from the cover start date of their respective policies on the newborn's date of birth.

Applicable if both parents are covered under Singlife Shield Plan 1 or Plan 2. Discounted premium rates for child(ren) refers to the Family Discount for child(ren) which is applicable to the child up to age 20 at next birthday (ANB). Please refer to Product Summary for more details.

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