What is it, Who Offers it, and How to Choose the Right One for You; All About Health Insurance

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With good health insurance, you can get the right help when you need to sort out medical expenses during sudden illness, injury, or disability. As a standard, all Singapore citizens are covered by Medishield Life. MediShield Life is a government plan that allows its citizens to access primary medical care. However, it only helps people pay off medical bills and does not compensate for the workdays missed during recovery. On the other hand, there are health insurance Singapore companies that assist with during and post-treatment cash payouts.  


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Private insurance companies provide short-term or long-term policies that complement the already existing public coverage. Many people prefer long-term policies because these cannot be terminated abruptly without the insured’s consent. On the other hand, short-term policies can be terminated if done with prior notice or if the insurer notices a breach in terms or underserviced premiums. Therefore, when seeking medical cover, always select a new policy if it closely matches your needs.    

Which health insurance plans are available for families?

If you have a family, it is advisable to have coverage that will protect you and your spouse and children. Here are some standard plans you can find when seeking medical insurance Singapore 

Hospital or surgical plans

The hospital and surgical plans will cover your family members’ hospital bills due to illness or accidents. They also include non-cosmetic surgeries.

Personal accident covers

Personal accident covers foot your hospital needs arising from accidents such as falls, injuries during sporting and leisure activities. It caters to medication needed during hospitalization, surgery costs, and evacuation.  Personal accident covers also offer compensation when there is death directly as a result of an accident. In accidental death, this insurance pays the total insured amount or a pre-determined amount of your earnings.  

Daily companion allowance

Whenever a person has a child admitted to hospital and misses some workdays to accompany the child, it may affect his wages and other work-related earnings. The daily companion allowance is paid off whenever a parent takes time off to spend with hospitalized children.  

Critical illness plans

The critical illness plans are drafted to give you a lump sum if you have life assurance and are later diagnosed with a critical illness. There are about 25 illnesses that fall under the category, but they can be more depending on the package selected. For example, critical illness insurance in Singapore covers heart attacks, strokes, and various types of cancer.

Age considerations in health insurance

Unlike purchasing many other financial products or services, buying insurance needs many considerations before selecting the right solution. Health insurance is one of those policies you need to consider your finances, lifestyle, and age before purchasing. That is why having financial advice is needed to guide you through the proper steps. Here are some primary considerations when choosing a health policy.  

Younger people make the mistake of sticking to minimal or basic insurance believing that it is enough for them. Always keep reviewing the coverage that you have and take any opportunity to upgrade the insurance when you can. Waiting until health issues emerge at an elderly age can get costlier because some insurance providers may exclude some items from your policy if you take it at a later date. Have a longer-term perspective when selecting insurance covers

ElderShield usually covers senior citizens, but they may opt out. If you plan to get a new health insurance policy as a senior, the first step would be to have a medical assessment. Also, make a quick check through the CPF website to determine if ElderShield already covers you. Insurers insist on medical testing first because there are pre-existing conditions that the insurance will not cover. Even so, knowing about them lets you know the right covers to take, such as moratorium covers. Moratorium policies come as an extra package on another health insurance coverage, and the premiums are dependent on how often you get treatment for the pre-existing condition.  

Who provides health insurance in Singapore?

Health insurance in Singapore falls into two tiers, both with different limits. Simply said, there is a basic health insurance coverage from MediShield, and private health insurance (integrated coverage) that is taken to cover bills that MediShield cannot cover.

Basic (MediShield)

Many citizens and permanent residents in Singapore who do not purchase extra healthcare insurance supposedly do so because they have Medishield. Medishield is the national scheme that pays off healthcare costs for hospitalized people. However, even though some people also rely on their employer’s medical insurance scheme, they often aren’t enough to cover costs beyond some limits. Limitations and exclusions are great impediments that make people pay the remaining costs out of their pockets. Purchasing additional health coverage helps to fill in those gaps and reduce any risk of incurring hefty bills.

Furthermore, due to the low premiums paid towards the Medishield covers, the typical payouts are suitable for Class B2 and C public hospital wards. The problem with that arrangement is that people can still pick private hospitals or Class B1 and A wards, but they have to top up any extra costs. 

Integrated plans

Integrated plans give beyond the basic payoffs that basic health insurance gives. For example, insurance companies offer the integrated Shield Plans who let you pay more as a premium but will pay extra costs you may incur in private hospitals and high-class wards. They also cover some treatments that are made before and after hospitalization.

The integrated insurance plans offer the following benefits:

  • Policyholders have the choice to stay in a private hospital.       
  • Higher class wards if you stay in public hospitals.        
  • Patients can choose a specific doctor.        
  • They have quicker processing times.        
  • You can make higher annual claims and more flexible limits.        
  • Patients can get coverage outside Singapore. 


There is a compelling advantage of having medical insurance covers that will offer more payouts than the national authorities’ basic health insurance. Furthermore, plenty of situations require treatment costs that patients cannot pay from MediShield or Medisave. With a wider variety of private insurance providers, you can count on extra perks, such as catering for hospitalization costs while overseas.