Health Insurance for Foreigners

Singapore is a place that attracts a lot of foreigners due to its broad market and great weather. But, foreigners visiting Singapore need to prepare for any health issue that may arise in the future due to lack of exercise, lifestyle habits or developing allergies of some sort. You have many options to consider a health insurance plan in Singapore.

The government of Singapore has implemented MediShield Life, from 1 November 2015 to take care of the medical needs of Singaporeans and Permanent Residents in Singapore. This is administered by the Central Provident Fund (CPF) to which Singaporeans and Permanent Residents in Singapore contribute to regularly. Since foreigners are not part of CPF, medical benefits provided to Singaporeans and Permanent Residents are not extended to foreigners. The only subsidy that the government of Singapore provides foreigners is medical services during emergency.

Need for a health insurance plan for foreigners in Singapore

As mentioned, the Singapore government provides a subsidy only on emergency medical services. This is reason enough to look for health insurance that would cover you while in Singapore.

The medical care in Singapore is very expensive and could burn a hole in your pocket if you attempt to pay it yourself.

If you are on work in Singapore, your employer will cover you under a health insurance plan. However, it is not necessary that it covers your spouse and children as well.

If you have any existing health insurance policy in your home country, it may not cover your medical expenses in Singapore. Having a health insurance policy in Singapore will ensure your stay is worriless.

Health insurance providers in Singapore

There are many health insurance policies in Singapore which have designed plans to cater to the medical needs of foreigners coming to Singapore.

Bupa global (Bupa)

Bupa global (Bupa) has tied up with Raffles Health Insurance (RHI) to provide premium healthcare to its customers. It offers many types of insurance for foreigners in Singapore including life insurance. Under Singapore/Regional health cover, it offers a plan called the ASEAN plus.

ASEAN plus

This is designed especially for people who work or travel to Asian countries like Singapore, China, India and Korea.

  • You may choose any hospital for treatment, but if you choose a Raffles Hospital, you will get S$200 per day. This is applicable only if you are admitted there.
  • The reimbursement of medical bills will depend on the annual limit set on your plan.
  • In the unfortunate event of undergoing dialysis, organ transplant or cancer treatment, the limits are different.
  • For those who are above 7 years, it offers a voucher for medical check-up worth S$100 which could be redeemed at any Raffles Hospital.
  • For accidental death and Total and Permanent Disability (TPD), the cover is up to S$40,000.
  • Additionally, if you are in a situation of medical emergency, it offers evacuation.

Cigna’s Global Health Options

One of the reputed insurers in Singapore has something to offer foreigners who come here. It offers a choice between plans it calls as Silver, Gold and Platinum. Here are the details:

Silver –

This plan covers an individual for treatment and hospital stays. The benefit every year is limited to S$1 million. It also provides cover for cancer.

Gold –

This plan covers an individual, spouse and one child for treatment and hospital stays. The benefit every year is limited to S$2 million. It also provides cover for cancer. Additionally, it provides cover for maternity and higher limits than Silver on most benefits. You will have access to its travel app.

Platinum –

This plan covers two individuals for treatment and hospital stays. The benefit every year is unlimited. It also provides cover for cancer. Additionally, it provides cover for maternity and higher limits than Gold on most benefits. It will also cover mental health, with full payment of the bill incurred. You will have access to its travel app.

All the plans have a language option including German, Spanish, French and Dutch. You could choose your area of coverage, which is, either worldwide including USA or worldwide excluding USA.

Some things to consider before signing up for a health insurance policy

  • I have a health insurance policy in my country. Do I need to apply for one in Singapore?
  • Usually, the health insurance policy that you have signed up for in your country may not cover medical costs when you are away. Even if they do, it may only be for emergencies and it may end up being a very meagre amount due to company policies. If you are in Singapore for more than 3 months, it is advisable you consider a health insurance policy available and sign up for those.

  • How much premium do I need to pay for a health insurance policy in Singapore?
  • Your premium depends on several factors like your age, health conditions, extent of coverage and age of coverage. Usually when you pay a high premium upfront, you will have to pay less when you pay medical bills.

  • My company provides a health insurance policy for me, but my wife and daughter are not covered. What should I do?
  • You could purchase a separate health insurance policy for them that has necessary riders like maternity, if you are planning on a second child, among other riders to reduce your medical expenses.

    With myriad options to choose from, you need to consider your needs and duration of stay in Singapore to arrive at a decision.

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