What is Individual Health Insurance?

Health insurance helps you pay for your medical expenses when you fall ill, get injured or become disabled. All Singaporeans are covered under MediShield Life, a basic government health plan to cover large medical expenses.

However, if you prefer to get more thorough coverage such as private hospital care or find that the coverage provided by your company is inadequate, you can look at getting private Individual Health Insurance. Not all health insurance policies are equal - some will only cover specific types of treatment while others will have a more comprehensive list. This is what makes it important to compare policies across different providers.

Comparison of coverage:

Personal Health
Why should I buy Personal Health Insurance?
What does it cover?
How much does it cost?

Do I have to buy Individual Health Insurance?

The state’s goal is to ensure that every citizen is cared for at a minimal basic level. That is the role of MediShield Life. Every citizen should have access to a minimum of government facilities. The company’s role is that of providing for employee benefits to their employees while they are in the company’s employment. This usually is superior to that which is provided for by the government. Ultimately, it bears down to the individual themselves. If they want better coverage, or continuity of medical insurance coverage post retirement, they should take responsibility and plan by purchasing suitable medical insurance plans for themselves.

What are the benefits of having Individual Health Insurance?

  • It can lead to a healthier lifestyle. Having a comprehensive plan helps cover you for *regular checkups that helps you to identify diseases early and offer financial protection in case of their treatments
  • Ongoing coverage even when you switch jobs
  • Protection against the inflating costs of healthcare
  • Financial peace of mind when it comes to medical costs

*Depending on the insurers and types of plan selected.

What If I am an Expatriate?

As an expatriate, you would have no access to public health insurance in Singapore and are relying solely on the health benefits provided by your employer. Hence, we strongly advise all expats in Singapore to consider getting covered under a private health insurance plan in order to be more well-equipped against unforeseen medical or hospitalisation expenses that specifically are not covered.

What is covered in Individual Health Insurance?

*subject to plan and riders and a waiting period


Hospitalisation and Surgery expense:

This covers medical expenses incurred when hospitalised (for more than 24 hours) and having to undergo surgery. It is inclusive of hospital room costs, medicine, ICU charges.


Emergency treatments:

This covers charges that occur during emergency procedures such as ambulance resuscitation.


Health screenings*:

This covers all expenses associated with attending health screening procedures, such as blood pressure and body mass index measurements and visual acuity tests.


Pre and post hospitalisation expense*:

This covers medical expenses incurred before getting admitted to the hospital and after being discharged.


Outpatient procedures*:

This includes all surgical procedures that occur without hospitalisation.


Pre-existing conditions*:

Subject to terms, this provides insurance coverage for medical conditions you have at the time of purchasing the policy that would otherwise exclude you from certain insurance programmes.


Alternative medicine*:

This covers for types of medical costs that come with alternative schools of medicine like Traditional Chinese Medicine of Ayurveda.



This covers costs for dental procedures.



This covers costs for mothers giving birth and during the pregnancy and post-birth phase.

How much is Individual Health Insurance?

A few factors go into the pricing of Individual Health Insurance:


Health insurance rates go up as a policyholder gets older, with the largest increases after age 55.

Plan Type:

From basic plans that just covers hospitalisation to “Super” plans that covers all medical bills, the price varies.

Country of Residence:

Where you buy the policy from matters as the local regulation and competition pays a part in the pricing.

Geographic Coverage:

The wider the coverage, the more expensive the plan is. Prices usually jump when USA is to be included in the coverage, due to medical cost there.

Pre-existing conditions:

Some insurers do underwriting on their clients and load on the premium for acceptance of pre-existing conditions for coverage.

Frequently Asked Questions

About Personal Health Insurance In Singapore

  • No. Compulsory health insurance in Singapore (MediShield Life) is available only to Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents. But business owners must buy at least $15,000 worth of health insurance annually for non-PR employees who hold Work Permits or S-Passes.
  • Some foreigners are allowed to purchase medical insurance plans in Singapore. They must have a valid pass (Such as SP, EP, Workpass or Long Term Visitor pass) and permanent residential address to be eligible to purchase the medical plan in Singapore.
  • Group Health Insurance is purchased by employers and offered to their employees. Meanwhile, individual health insurance can be purchased on your own via a private insurance company.
  • Health insurance plans allow you to reimburse medical expenses that can occur due to illness or disease. Meanwhile, life insurance is a lump sum payable to your family in the event of your death.
  • Generally, MediShield Life is enough if you don’t mind staying in Class B2 or C wards to receive basic public hospital treatments. If you want higher coverage or prefer to be treated in private hospitals, consider getting an Integrated Shield Plan (IP). Private insurance companies offer this as an optional health package on top of MediShield Life. Integrated Shield Plans also provide wider coverage amidst rising healthcare costs.
  • Businesses in Singapore are required to buy health insurance plans only for Work Permit and S-Pass holders. They are not obliged to do the same for Employment Pass (EP) holders, but EP holders can buy insurance individually.

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