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The cost of senior health insurance in Singapore

Let’s face it. We will all get old sooner or later – if nothing goes wrong midway. While Singapore is arguably the most well-developed country in the world, with some of the most top-rated medical talent and facilities in Asia, settling here for your golden years can cost you a lot. So if you are planning to retire here, it’s important to be financially prepared.

According to Government estimates, by 2030 the number of people aged 65 and above will double and comprise a quarter of Singaporeans. Apart from the ageing population, we will also have to deal with the impact of increasing life expectancy, deteriorating health status, the shrinking labor force, and skyrocketing medical costs.

In this feature by Pacific Prime Singapore, we will shed light on current and future elderly healthcare costs in the Lion City, and offer some tips on reducing the cost of senior health insurance.

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The estimated average elderly healthcare cost in Singapore

In this subsection, we will first take a look at the predicted cost of senior healthcare from different reports and research.

Due to advancements in medical technology and the aging population, there will be more demands for high-end medical treatment, according to Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat. He forecasts an annual Ministry Of Health budget of “at least” $13 billion from 2020, which will be three times its 2010 level.

Another report by Asia-Pacific Risk Center looked even further and projects that elderly healthcare costs in Singapore will rise tenfold in 2030 to more than US$49 billion annually. The healthcare expenditure for each senior is estimated to rise from US$8,196 in 2015 to US$37,427 in 2030, which will put Singapore in the highest position within the Asia-Pacific region, just ahead of Australia. A health expert even describes the estimate as “conservative” since the numbers do not take into account indirect costs such as transport and opportunity costs from caregivers’ time.

With the rise in senior healthcare costs, it stands to reason that more people are seeking insurance to protect their golden years. Our 2017-2018 edition of the State of Health Insurance Report in Singapore shows that the average cost of international health insurance was USD 11,868 for retirees in 2017, making Singapore the second most expensive country for retiree health insurance.

How do I reduce the cost of senior health insurance?

We all know that the earlier you secure health insurance, the less expensive it is. However, there are actually a few more ways you can save money on your senior health insurance premiums.

Exclude specific areas of coverage

If you are sure that you will be staying in one specific country most of the time, then you probably won’t need global coverage. By identifying specific regions of the world in which you would like to receive protection, although you will not be protected in every single country, you can save yourself some premiums as those plans are usually on the expensive side. However, if you know that you will still be a globetrotter or frequent flyer after retirement, then international health insurance is probably your best bet. At the end of the day, the ideal plan for you all comes down to your actual needs and requirements.

Use deductibles (a.k.a. excess)

Deductibles refer to the amount you need to pay before you submit claims to insurers. Normally, the higher the deductible is, the lower the premium. So by including different levels of deductibles in your policy, you can pay a lower overall policy premium. You can learn more about deductibles here.

Secure health insurance as early as possible

The general rule of thumb for reducing health insurance costs is still to secure it as soon as possible. For some plans, if you have acquired the plan before 69 years of age, you will enjoy a flat rate for the 69 age bracket even if you are already over 69. However, if you have acquired the plan after 69 years of age, you will follow the regular age bracket and your premium will increase substantially.

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Structure your personalized insurance based on your needs

The above tips can only serve as general rules since the actual cost of your health insurance plan is still subject to a number of other factors (e.g. if you have any pre-existing conditions, your lifestyle habits). To ensure you get the best plan, it is therefore important to engage the services of an established professional insurance brokerage like Pacific Prime Singapore.

As a leading broker in the insurance industry, we maintain close relationships with different insurers and know the ins and outs of their insurance products. We are also experienced in aiding our clients in structuring customized insurance plans, and fight for the best prices and terms for them.

Due to ever-rising medical costs and the aging population in Singapore, senior health insurance is definitely a worthwhile investment that can safeguard your health and ensure your financial security after retirement. Contact us today for unbiased insurance advice, an obligation-free quote, and a plan comparison!