Health Insurance for Expats in Singapore for Foreign Residents: Healthcare Guide

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All articles are for education purposes only, and not to be taken as advice to buy/sell. Please do your own due diligence before committing to any trade or investments.


All articles are for education purposes only, and not to be taken as advice to buy/sell. Please do your own due diligence before committing to any trade or investments.

Modern office space with a panoramic view of Singapore, equipped with advanced technology, symbolizing the advanced healthcare and insurance systems available to expats in the city.

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Introduction – Guide to Medical Insurance in Singapore for Foreigners

Navigating the realm of expats health insurance in Singapore within the context of its renowned public healthcare system can be intricate for foreign residents. With a healthcare system that stands among the world’s best, Singapore presents a diverse range of insurance options specifically tailored for expatriates.

This guide will elucidate all the essentials about these insurance policies, from comprehending their components to strategies for selecting and enrolling in them. Keen on getting acquainted? Let’s delve deeper!

Key Takeaways

  • Health insurance in Singapore is essential for foreign residents to have coverage for medical expenses and access to quality healthcare.
  • There are different types of health insurance plans available for expats, including Integrated Shield Plans (ISPs), international health insurance plans, employer-sponsored insurance, and private health insurance.
  • Some of the top health insurance plans for foreign residents in Singapore include AIA HealthShield Gold, IncomeShield, Raffles Elite Care, AXA International Exclusive Plan B, and FWD’s International Health Insurance Plan.

When choosing a health insurance plan as an expat in Singapore, important factors to consider include the type of coverage needed, premiums and costs, network of healthcare providers, benefits and reimbursements offered, customer reviews, and ratings.

Confident expatriate at the airport, passport in hand, ready to navigate health coverage options abroad.

Grasping Expat Health Insurance in Singapore

Health insurance for expats in Singapore is vital for foreign residents, offering protection against rising healthcare costs and guaranteeing access to top-tier medical services in the nation.

What is Expat Health Insurance?

Insurance for foreigners, specifically tailored for expats living in Singapore, is distinct. It’s designed for individuals who move to Singapore and are residing away from their native lands. Such insurance ensures that doctor appointments and hospitalizations are financially covered, aligning with the specific needs of expatriates.

The pricing of international health insurance plans you’ll find in Singapore can vary based on factors like age, the scope of coverage, and any pre-existing health conditions. Companies such as AXA – Global Healthcare and HSBC Singapore offer dedicated plans for expatriates and their families. These companies capitalize on the strengths of Singapore’s healthcare system to ensure expatriates receive the care they need when unwell or injured.

How is Health Insurance structured in Singapore?

In Singapore, health insurance is a must-have. Only locals and residents can get it. For medical care needs, expats pay in cash. Both public and private health insurance options are present in this city-state.

Public health insurance is close to the citizens and permanent residents of Singapore only. Expats often turn to private health plans for better coverage, like MediShield Life or others available specifically for them.

These cover more than just hospital costs! It helps lessen the burden on one’s wallet when dealing with healthcare bills in Singapore.

What is an Integrated Shield Plan (ISP)?

An Integrated Shield Plan (ISP) is a health insurance plan in Singapore. It gives wide medical coverage. This includes costs for the hospital and surgery. The Central Provident Fund (CPF) manages ISP.

It is the main health insurance plan for people living in Singapore. Even foreigners living in Singapore can get an ISP. But, it only pays a small part of their medical bills from other countries.

Medisave, which is a special savings account approved by the government, can be used to pay for an ISP.

Difference between Government and Private ISPs

The Singaporean healthcare system, though comprehensive, differs fundamentally in its offerings between government and private Integrated Shield Plans (ISPs). Foreigners, including traders and investors, need to understand these differences to make an informed choice in their health coverage.

  Government ISPs Private ISPs
Eligibility Only open to Singapore citizens and permanent residents. These plans can be purchased by foreigners living or working in Singapore, making them an excellent choice for expats.
Cost Government ISPs are typically cheaper and can be paid for using the Medisave account. Private ISPs tend to be more expensive due to the wider range of benefits they offer.
Range of Services Government ISPs generally cover basic hospitalization and surgical costs. Private ISPs include outpatient treatments, maternity care, emergency evacuation, and other additional services.
Choice of Hospitals Limited to public hospitals. Expats with private ISPs have the flexibility to seek treatment in both public and private hospitals.
Claims Process Claims with government ISPs go directly through the MediShield Life system. Private ISPs usually have a more straightforward claim submission process and can offer direct billing arrangements.

Understanding the difference between these two options can help foreigners, such as traders and investors, decide which is more suitable based on their healthcare needs and financial situation.

Coverage options for expats

Expats in Singapore have several coverage options for their health insurance. Here are some alternatives:

  • Integrated Shield Plans (ISPs): These plans provide coverage for both public and private hospital services. They offer higher coverage limits and additional benefits compared to the basic MediShield Life plan.
  • International Health Insurance Plans: Expats can also opt for international health insurance plans that provide coverage not only in Singapore but also worldwide. These plans often include a wider network of hospitals and doctors, as well as additional benefits like maternity covers.
  • Employer-Sponsored Insurance: Some expats may have the option to get health insurance through their employer. These plans typically offer comprehensive coverage, including outpatient treatments and specialist consultations.

Private Health Insurance: Expats can also choose to buy private health insurance directly from insurance providers. These plans can be tailored to individual needs and preferences, offering flexibility in coverage options.

Two women reviewing and discussing a health insurance document, exploring the best coverage options for international residents in Singapore.

Top Health Insurance Plans for Foreign Residents in Singapore

Some of the top health insurance plans for foreign residents in Singapore include AIA HealthShield Gold for Foreigners, IncomeShield for Foreigners, Raffles Elite Care, AXA International Exclusive Plan B, and FWD International Health Insurance.

AIA HealthShield Gold for Foreigners

Foreign residents in Singapore have a health insurance option called AIA HealthShield Gold. This plan is specifically designed for foreigners and offers comprehensive coverage. However, it’s important to note that AIA HealthShield Gold Max A is not available for foreigners, and premiums can only be paid in cash.

Instead, foreigners can choose from options like AIA Max VitalHealth A, A Value, B plans, or the special A plan. These plans provide access to private healthcare services and allow foreigners to buy health insurance in Singapore even without MediShield Life coverage.

IncomeShield for Foreigners

IncomeShield is a health insurance plan that foreigners living in Singapore can choose. It is an Integrated Shield Plan approved by MediSave, which means it offers additional coverage on top of the basic Medishield Life.

IncomeShield is available for both Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents, but unfortunately, foreign residents are not covered by the national insurance scheme. This means that as a foreigner, you will need to look into private health insurance options like IncomeShield to ensure you have adequate coverage for your healthcare needs while living in Singapore.

Raffles Elite Care

Raffles Elite Care is a health insurance plan that provides coverage for foreign residents in Singapore and other Southeast Asian countries. It is one of the top options available for expats who are looking for quality healthcare coverage.

Raffles Elite Care not only covers healthcare needs in Singapore but also extends its coverage to countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, and Vietnam. With Raffles Health Insurance, you can be assured of receiving excellent medical care when you need it.

So, if you’re a foreign resident in Singapore or any of these Southeast Asian countries, consider Raffles Elite Care as your go-to health insurance option.

AXA International Exclusive Plan B

AXA International Exclusive Plan B is a top health insurance plan for foreign residents in Singapore. It is specifically designed for individuals who are living in Singapore, including Singaporean nationals, permanent residents, and foreigners.

This plan is also suitable for expatriates who are residing in Singapore. AXA International Exclusive Plan B offers coverage for various healthcare needs, ensuring that you have access to premium coverage for private medical care worldwide.

Whether you need medical treatment locally or when traveling abroad, this plan provides comprehensive protection and peace of mind.

FWD International Health Insurance

FWD International Health Insurance is a recommended option for expats and foreigners living in Singapore. This insurance plan offers global coverage with up to S$500,000 for accidental death and disability.

It is designed for individuals who are working or studying abroad. FWD International Health Insurance provides access to healthcare facilities in Singapore while you reside there. Additionally, FWD Travel Insurance is available specifically for travel purposes.

This insurance plan is highly recommended for expat families and foreigners in need of comprehensive coverage.

Professional advisor discussing health coverage options with an expatriate in a well-lit office setting in Singapore.

How to Choose the Best Health Insurance Plan for Expats

When selecting the best medical insurance for foreigners in Singapore, it’s essential to consider various factors. These include the range of coverage options, choosing between local or international providers, the potential requirement for travel insurance, and the value of having a personal advisor.

Navigating healthcare in Singapore becomes more seamless with comprehensive health insurance tailored for expatriates.

Factors to consider

Factors to consider when choosing a health insurance plan for expats in Singapore:

  • Type of coverage needed: Consider whether you need coverage for medical expenses only in Singapore or in other countries.
  • Premiums and costs: Compare the premiums and costs of different insurance plans to find one that fits your budget.
  • Network of healthcare providers: Check if the plan includes a network of preferred hospitals and doctors where you can receive treatment.
  • Benefits and reimbursements: Look into the benefits and reimbursements offered by each plan, such as coverage for maternity care or dental treatment.
  • Customer reviews and ratings: Read reviews from existing customers to get an idea of their experiences with the insurance provider.
  • Additional services: Some plans may offer additional services like access to wellness programs or 24/7 hotline assistance.

Local vs. international providers

Health insurance providers for foreigners in Singapore can be broadly divided into two categories: local providers and international providers. Both types of providers offer unique advantages that cater to different healthcare needs and personal circumstances of expats.

Local Providers International Providers
Offer insurance plans at lower costs. Premium insurance plans, hence higher cost.
Coverage is only within Singapore. Provide global coverage, ideal for frequent travelers.
Covers basic healthcare services. Offers comprehensive coverage beyond basic healthcare services.
Includes the mandatory MediShield Life for citizens and Permanent Residents. Does not come with MediShield Life, but some may offer international alternatives.
Plans are tailored to the local healthcare system. Benefits and reimbursements are tailored to the country of residence.

When deciding between local insurance and an international health plan for expats in Singapore with a valid visa, it’s essential to evaluate their basic health requirements, individual circumstances, and how often they travel. The choice isn’t necessarily about which provider is superior, but rather which one aligns better with the person’s specific needs.

Private local insurance providers and international ones offer varied benefits, and understanding these can greatly aid in making an informed decision.

The importance of travel insurance coverage

Foreigners living in Singapore should seriously consider purchasing travel insurance coverage. This is because medical costs in Singapore can be quite high, and having insurance can help protect against unexpected expenses.

Additionally, accidents or illnesses can happen at any time, and having travel insurance ensures that you are covered for emergency medical treatment or hospitalization. It is important to note that not all health insurance plans provide coverage while traveling, so it is necessary to specifically look for options that include travel insurance coverage.

Some popular providers of international health insurance in Singapore include AXA-Global Healthcare and Cigna. By investing in travel insurance coverage, traders and investors can have peace of mind knowing they are protected during their time in Singapore.

Importance of personal advisor

A personal advisor is crucial when choosing the best health insurance plan for expats in Singapore. They can help you understand the coverage and benefits of each plan, making it easier for you to make an informed decision.

Navigating the complexities of the Singapore healthcare system can be overwhelming, but a personal advisor can guide you through it. They can also compare the costs of different insurance plans, ensuring that you get the most value for your money.

Additionally, having a personal advisor provides ongoing support and assistance with claims and issues that may arise. With their help, you have peace of mind knowing that someone is looking out for your best interests.


In conclusion, securing expat health insurance coverage is vital for foreign residents in Singapore to adequately cover their medical expenses. Given the spectrum of choices between private insurance and local health schemes, it’s crucial to weigh aspects such as cost, the extent of coverage, and the credibility of the provider in selecting the optimal plan.

With a grasp of Singapore’s healthcare system and other resources, expats can make enlightened choices and pinpoint the health insurance scheme best suited for their requirements in the country.

Stay safeguarded and relish the tranquility of knowing your health is in good hands!

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Bryan Ang

Bryan Ang is a financial expert with a passion for investing and trading. He is an avid reader and researcher who has built an impressive library of books and articles on the subject.

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