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Does Singapore subsidise medical costs for resident foreigners?


Medical Costs for Resident Foreigners

No, the Government will not

As expatriates are not able to contribute to a Central Provident Fund (CPF), they are denied the usual healthcare subsidies that a Singaporean or Permanent Resident qualify for. The only subsidies in regards to healthcare set aside by the Singapore government applicable to visitors are designated to cover emergency services. It is therefore easy to understand why a well crafted health insurance plan is essential if you are looking to relocate overseas to Singapore for a while.

Singapore citizens however, are entitled to a subsidy of up to 80% for Singaporeans and 60% for Permanent Residents* (PR) for healthcare services at government facilities and wards. Residents also have the option to co-pay any remaining balance via their CPF, using some of the funds from the contributions taken as a percentage of their salary. Of course, with the CPF scheme inapplicable to foreigners on Employment Pass, Dependent Pass or S-Pass, they tend to seek other solutions.

Since Singapore is one of the best countries in Asia to receive medical care, many residents, even those with subsidies, have elected to pay for additional private medical insurance, patching up any gaps in cover from government programs. Foreigners or short-term residents meanwhile, either pay completely out of pocket after a medical procedure, or have already secured some form of health insurance cover, oftentimes from an employer.

(*): ‘Singapore Permanent Residents’ refer to holders of a specific type of visa/status in Singapore that can be acquired after many years of residency and upon application from the MOM. Most foreigners in Singapore hold an Employment Pass (EP) or Dependent Pass (DP) and S-Pass.

Your Employer may not cover everyone

It is a fairly common practice for employers in Singapore to offer health insurance, with trends even indicating an increase in desire for these ‘extra’ benefits, evidently being seen as less ‘supplementary’ and much more integral to the core aspects of a plan.

Although several employers will provide options to new recruits, there is no guarantee that offer of cover will include care for your husband, wife, or children (as can be common in other countries). It can be a difficult task to secure insurance for your dependants, and consolidating between your own insurance plan via employee benefits and a different set of policies from another insurer for your family is cause for unnecessary stress, not to mention the fact that mistakes can be made more easily.

How do I secure health insurance cover for my family?

Independent brokers like Pacific Prime Singapore present new arrivals to our city with a menu of health cover options, and the opportunity to switch and select different components and sections of every plan to suit particular needs.

Be aware that international overseas insurers will have restrictions on an insurance policy if you move away from Singapore. If you leave, this can affect something as rudimentary as overall cost, to the much more serious modification of essential cover for a pre-existing condition. The best option is to talk to an expert who knows the industry, and knows how you can benefit best based on your own history and needs.

This process has proven to cut down on costs for anyone worried about paying for comprehensive health insurance, by ensuring your money goes towards only what you require and expect. If you are interested in hearing about what health insurance can actually do for you, contact Pacific Prime Singapore or just have a look around in our powerful (and free) comparison engine. 

We received a question from Kyaw Myint:

"Do you sell valid health insurance policy (hospitalization & surgery and critical illness) to a foreigner who wants to stay long term in Singapore? This policy is one of the requirements of ICA, Singapore, for an applicant who wishes to apply for a long term pass in Singapore. Appreciate if you please reply this matter."

And did our best to answer it

 Dear Kyaw Myint,

Pacific Prime Singapore can offer a range of health insurance options for foreign nationals who may be relocating to Singapore. International health insurance plans which we can provide to expatriates who are living in, or traveling to Singapore are normally guaranteed renewable for life, globally portable, and will often provide worldwide coverage. Additionally, these global Singaporean medical insurance policies will usually allow you to choose where you receive medical treatment, allowing you to receive your healthcare with any doctor or hospital on the planet.

In-patient coverage will protect you for any treatment you may receive where an overnight stay in a hospital or similar medical facility is needed. Under this type of benefit, surgical and associated surgical costs (such as anesthetic fees) are covered, including hospitalization. We can also provide extensive outpatient coverage options for your health insurance.

In many cases, upon consultation with you, Pacific Prime may actually be able to tailor the Singaporean Coverage options we provide to meet your specific individual requirements. This is possible due to our extensive relationships with many of the world’s leading health insurance companies, and the fact that we choose to work with only the highest quality providers. Major insurance providers we work with include Raffles Health Insurance (administered by Bupa International), InterGlobal, and AXA.

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