Best Health Insurance Plans for Foreigners in Singapore 2021

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We found 3 Health Insurances for you!
NTUC Income logo

Post-Hospitalisation Benefit

365 days

Post-Hospitalisation Benefit
Covers COVID-19
Max. Annual Coverage Limit
Pre-Hospitalisation Benefit
180 days
Post-Hospitalisation Benefit
365 days
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AIA logo

Post-Hospitalisation Benefit

100 days

Post-Hospitalisation Benefit
Covers critical illnesses & COVID-19
Max. Annual Coverage Limit
Pre-Hospitalisation Benefit
100 days
Post-Hospitalisation Benefit
100 days
Get a QuoteEnquire via Promiseland
Great Eastern logo

Post-Hospitalisation Benefit

365 days

Post-Hospitalisation Benefit
Covers COVID-19
Max. Annual Coverage Limit
Pre-Hospitalisation Benefit
120 days
Post-Hospitalisation Benefit
365 days
Get a QuoteEnquire via Promiseland

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What is Expat Health Insurance in Singapore

#1Who It Is For

Expat health insurance is meant for foreigners (neither Singaporeans nor Permanent Residents) who have relocated from other countries to work and live in Singapore with a valid visa.

#2What Is It

A local health insurance plan for expats to access Singaporean healthcare facilities while living here in Singapore. It is essentially a foreigner’s version of the Integrated Shield Plan – the local health insurance plan that Singaporeans and PRs get (although expats don’t get the government-provided MediShield Life portion).

#3Where To Buy

Although there are 7 insurance companies offering Integrated Shield Plans (IP) for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs), there are only 3 insurance companies offering IP plans for expats, namely NTUC IncomeShield, AIA, and Great Eastern.

What Is An Integrated Shield Plan

Now that you are relocating to Singapore, take some time to understand the basics of health insurance in Singapore. If there’s one thing you need to know, it’s the government-issued health insurance plan called MediShield Life and its booster counterpart, Integrated Shield Plans.


All Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) are automatically enrolled into the Ministry of Health’s subsidised health insurance policy – called Medishield Life.


Singaporeans and PRs then have the choice to boost their MediShield Life health insurance with higher claim limits, additional medical coverage, and more benefits with an Integrated Shield Plan purchased from private insurance companies.


That very same Integrated Shield Plan can be purchased by foreigners and expats residing in Singapore with a valid visa – although foreigners do not get the government-subsidised portion aka Medishield Life.

Who Is Expat Health Insurance For

So, now that you understand how local health insurance works in Singapore, you need to ask yourself some questions. If you are on a work permit or S-pass, do you need to buy health insurance? The answer is yes – in fact, your boss has to buy health insurance for you. However, whether you hold a work permit, S-pass, or employment pass, you should have expat health insurance so long as you are living in Singapore because – it’s no secret – healthcare costs are so high here in Singapore.

Work Permit or S-Pass

If you are a foreigner on a Work Permit or S-Pass, it is compulsory for your employer to insure you with health insurance coverage with them with a minimum annual coverage of S$15,000. The health insurance coverage is fully payable by the employer. However, there may be a co-payment of up to 10% of the employee’s monthly income for claims that are non-work related.

Employment Pass

However, for foreigners with an Employment Pass, it is not compulsory for employers to insure you with health insurance. If you are not covered by any corporate health insurance or other types of health insurance coverage, it is highly advisable to get yourself some coverage.

Private Health Insurance

If you are an expat and you are looking for something more than the local health insurance, aka the Integrated Shield Plan for foreigners, you will need to purchase a private health insurance from private insurance companies.

Why Do I Need Health Insurance?

While Singapore has a high standard of healthcare, the cost of healthcare is extremely high. Hence, it is highly recommended that you have health insurance so that you don’t have to end up emptying your savings on hospital bills. If your company provides you with sufficient health insurance coverage, or if you have existing health insurance from your home country which covers your stay in Singapore then it may not be necessary for you to get additional health insurance in Singapore. However, in the event that your company does not provide sufficient health insurance coverage, or you do not have any corporate health insurance at all, you should consider getting additional local health insurance for your stay in Singapore.

Expat Health Insurance Coverage

Medical BenefitWhat It Means
HospitalisationYou will usually spot “inpatient benefits” in the local health insurance aka Integrated Shield Plan brochures and it basically refers to your hospitalisation stay and any surgeries you may have to go under the knife for. To file an eligible claim under this benefit, you will first and foremost need to be hospitalised. Any surgeries you go through will need to be in the Ministry of Health’s Table of Surgical Procedures 1A too 7C. If so, your ward/ room charges, Intensive Care Unit (ICU), surgical, medication, diagnostics, and other miscellaneous fees will be covered by your IP plan.
Outpatient Cancer TreatmentsOutpatient benefits cover medical treatments out of the hospital or those that may not require you to stay overnight in a hospital. Most common outpatient benefits across all IP plans include kidney dialysis erythropoietin, cancer radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and stereotactic radiotherapy. Other claimable outpatient treatments include immunosuppressants for organ transplant patients, and long-term parenteral nutrition (what you know as tube feeding).
Travel EmergencyWhile local health insurance largely offers you medical coverage while you are physically in Singapore, some plans may offer you overseas emergency medical coverage (in life or death situations) such as emergency medical treatments or evacuations.
Pre-HospitalisationIf your hospitalisation stay and the treatments you received during your stay have all been approved by your insurance company for claims, then you can start filing your pre-hospitalisation treatments for claims. That means, if you have been visiting the doctor for the same illness even before you were hospitalised, you can submit the receipts for claims within 180 days (or lesser, depends on your plan).
Post-HospitalisationWhen you’re about the be discharged from the hospital, chances are your doctor will ask you to schedule another appointment for follow-up treatments. While you may most likely come back to the same hospital, some doctors may refer you to other medical centres, clinics, or even Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) clinics for post-hospitalisation treatments. If your plan allows, and your doctor referred you to an insurance-approved clinic, you will be able to claim these treatments’ bills.

How To Choose the Best Health Insurance Plan

We understand – health insurance plans may offer numerous benefits, options, riders, and variations. It’s complicated. Instead of trying to compare all available plans and all their benefits, you should pick out and only compare the benefits that you think are important to you.

Your Needs

Instead of trying to compare all available plans and all their benefits, you should evaluate your personal health status, medical history, and family medical history etc. to pick out and only compare the benefits that you think are important to you.


Check the riders available as riders can help to increase your coverage and/or lower your out-of-pocket costs such as reimbursement of deductibles and co-insurance.


In Singapore, 100% full coverage riders have been phased out to curb the abuse of medical facilities. Therefore, everyone has to pay a legal minimum of 5% of the total medical bill upon checkout in cash. Most plans require you to pay 10% in co-insurance payments, but you can lower that amount to the legal limit of 5% by purchasing a rider that allows you to do that.

Expat Health Insurance Premiums in Singapore

The average cost of an expat health insurance varies with age, lifestyle factors, and medical history. The average cost in premiums, however, ranges from S$69 to S$1,063 for 75-year-olds. For a 45-year-old non-smoker, the average cost of an Integrated Shield Plan in Singapore is S$132. An expat’s health insurance plan does not include any MediShield Life premiums or MediSave contributions. The cost in premiums will increase if you decide to purchase a rider along with your foreigner’s Integrated Shield Plan.

Expat vs International Health Insurance

If you are a foreigner relocating to Singapore to study or work as an expat, here's the question: "Should I buy an expat (local) health insurance aka the Integrated Shield Plan for foreigners, or should I buy an international health insurance plan?"

Expat/ Local

If your profession requires you to be physically based in Singapore and you do not foresee yourself travelling or uprooting much to move around global offices, you should get an expat (or local) health insurance in Singapore. The local Integrated Shield Plan for foreigners primarily offer local medical coverage within Singapore – any overseas medical coverage will be limited and has to classified as emergency. Your local health insurance will be valid as long as you are a legal resident of Singapore.


If your profession, however, requires you to uproot a couple of times per year to move around global offices in Southeast Asia – for instance –, then you should consider an international health insurance. That way, your international health insurance will be able to offer you medical coverage not only for your stay in Singapore, but elsewhere around Asia such as Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul, or Jakarta. Likewise, you can opt for other iterations of such international health insurance plans – worldwide, worldwide (without the USA), or Asia only.

Commonly Asked Questions

Can foreigners buy medical insurance in Singapore?

Yes, foreigners can buy medical insurance from private insurers in Singapore. In fact, foreigners can choose to purchase an expat (or local) health insurance in the form of an Integrated Shield Plan for foreigners – offering access to, and coverage for medical treatments and expenses within Singaporean hospitals and medical facilities. Otherwise, foreigners can buy international health insurance from insurance companies to insure their stay in Singapore and beyond. If you are a foreigner with Permanent Resident (PR) status in Singapore, you can purchase the Integrated Shield Plan medical insurance for locals.

How much does medical insurance cost in Singapore?

The average cost of an Integrated Shield Plan with access to Class B1 wards and below in public hospitals for a 45-year-old non-smoker in Singapore is S$132 per year. This does not include the cost in premiums of the mandatory government-issued MediShield Life health insurance.

I may not live in Singapore forever, do I still get health insurance?

If you are a Singaporean who has relocated abroad, your mandatory government-issued MediShield Life will still be valid. However, do take note that MediShield Life only offers you medical coverage within Singapore. If you have any Integrated Shield Plans (IP), your IP plans will still be valid for your use when you return to Singapore as long as you continue to pay your premiums. In the event you relocate overseas permanently, you can just notify your insurance company to cancel your Integrated Shield Plan.

What kind of insurance do I need in Singapore?

If you are a Singaporean just starting to buy insurance, or if you are a foreigner residing long-term in Singapore, youshould have 5 types of insurance, namely life insurance, health (or hospitalisation) insurance, personal accident insurance, critical illness insurance, and income disability insurance plans.

Do I still need health insurance if I have corporate health insurance?

To decide if you need to purchase additional health insurance, first check if your company provides you with sufficient health insurance coverage and if you have any other existing personal health insurance plans. If you are well covered by both your company and personal plans, it's not necessary for you to get any more health insurance. Some people may opt to not purchase personal health insurance if their companies provide adequate coverage. However, in the event that your company goes into retrenchment, administration, or if you decide to leave your job, you may be left with no medical insurance coverage at all. It is best to get some a modest health insurance plan even if you have corporate health insurance.

Can foreigners apply to be insured under MediShield Life?

Unfortunately no – MediShield Life is only available to Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs).