Average Cost and Benefits of Health Insurance 2024

Learn more about all the cost and benefits of the different types of health insurance plans available in Singapore.

ValueChampion Editorial Team

by ValueChampion Editorial Team on Jun 18, 2024


Whether you are on Medishield Life or on your company’s insurance, there are many different ways to supplement your current health coverage.

If you are a Singaporean citizen or permanent resident, you have the option of supplementing your insurance (Medishield Life) with an Integrated Shield Plan (IP) that is payable through your Medisave account. If you are a foreigner living in Singapore or you are a Singaporean who spends a lot of time overseas, you can opt for an international health insurance plan.

Whatever your situation is, knowing the average cost of these plans and their benefits can help you determine the right coverage for your needs and budget.

Table of Contents

money and masks medical insurance
Source: Pexels

Average Cost of Integrated Shield Plans (IP)

The average cost of an Integrated Shield Plan covering a B1 ward (Restructured/ Public Hospital, on an “as charged” basis IP) for 45-year-old men and women in Singapore is S$150. Because premiums change depending on your age, this price could be as low as S$61 for 25-year-olds. For 75-year-olds, however, the price could increase to S$1,141. Generally, we found that premiums increase by about 45 – 70% for every 10 years of age.

Tiers of Integrated Shield Plans (IP)Coverage
Highest Tier Plan – Private HospitalPrivate Hospital Standard Room/ ward class A (As charged*)
Highest Tier Plan – Restructured/ Public HospitalRestructured/ Public hospital ward class A and below (As charged*)
Mid Tier Plan – Restructured/ Public HospitalRestructured/ Public hospital ward class B1 and below (As charged*)
Standard Integrated Shield Plan (latest addition)Developed in response to the MediShield Life Review Committee’s recommendation in 2014, to provide a “no-frills” IP option (Per benefit claim limit**)

Restructured/ Public hospital ward class B1 and below

Standardised across the insurers

As charged* – All Expenses incurred by the Life Assured in the Hospital and ward class of the Life Assured’s entitlement under the Plan Type insured.

Per benefit claim limit** – The expenses incurred by the Life Assured is claimable up to the limit stated in the policy schedule. 

For example: Daily ward and treatment charges (normal ward) – S$2,250  per day claim limit

Average Cost of Integrated Shield Plan by Age Restructured/ Public Hospital B1 ward

Premiums for IP’s also change depending on the ward you want. The average B1 ward (Restructured/ Public Hospital, on an “as charged” basis IP) costs S$150 for a 45-year-old. In contrast, a Standard Plan (the lowest tier IP; Restructured/ Public Hospital, B1 ward and below on “per benefit claim limit” basis IP) costs 32% less at S$103 for the same person. A private hospital plan (highest tier IP; Private Hospital Standard Room/ ward class A) costs 482% more at S723. IP premiums changed in a similar manner depending on the ward selection.

Average Cost of Integrated Shield Plan by Age Private Hospital Standard Room ward class A

Average Cost of Integrated Shield Plan Riders

The average cost of adding a rider to your IP plan is S$1,037 for a 45-year old. This price decreases by 40% to S$619 for a 25 year old and increases by 513% to S$5,318 for a 75-year old. 

The combination of Integrated Shield Plan and rider (Private Hospital Standard Room/ ward class A IP plus rider) costs S$1,760 for 45-year-olds on average, but can decrease by 52% to S$840 for 25-year olds or increase by 551% to S$9,702 for 75-year olds.

average cost of IP with riders by age

Average Benefits of Integrated Shield Plans and Riders

While standard IP plans have an annual limit of S$200,000 and are completely standardised in coverage across insurers, non-Standard Integrated Shield Plans plans vary by annual hospitalisation limits, pre and post-hospitalisation days of coverage and miscellaneous benefits.

The average annual hospitalisation limit is S$310,000 for public hospital B1 ward plan, which increases by 562% to S$1,742,857 for private hospital plans. Pre and post-hospitalisation coverage for B1 ward plans is 116 and 183 days respectively, but increases to 202 and 369 days, respectively, for private hospital plans. Miscellaneous benefits can include alternative treatment and final expense coverage. 

One interesting fact to note is that across the insurers, the limit quotes (Private Hospital Standard Room/ ward class A IP and riders) are for claims via the panel/ preferred providers list. The benefit limit amount is lowered if the clinic or provider is not on the respective insurer’s list of panel/ preferred providers.

Rider benefits usually include ambulance or taxi coverage, alternative treatment coverage, family accommodation coverage and emergency outpatient coverage among other benefits.

In 2022, the Cancer Drug List (CDL) was introduced. This announcement saw changes in IP and the riders coverage. In summary, only cancer treatments on the CDL can be eligible for government subsidy and can be paid for with MediSave. Otherwise, the treatment costs for drugs not on the CDL cannot be covered by MediShield Life or IP health insurance. For people with IPs, coverage ranges from double to five times the MediShield Life limits, depending on their insurer and plan.

Cancer treatment coverage limit is generally much higher for those who have bought IP riders. Now, some riders also include some non-CDL treatments. The type of treatment and the amount covered vary with insurers. The below is an example of IP rider coverage for CDL and non CDL treatments:

great eastern great total care
Source: The Great Eastern Life Assurance Company Limited, Great TotalCare (as of June 2024)

How Do Integrated Shield Plan (IP) Premiums and Claims Work

Integrated shield plan premiums

Related: Average Cost of Cancer Treatment in Singapore

Average Cost of International Health Insurance for Foreigners in Singapore

The average cost of a lower tier international health insurance plan for a 45 year old expat living in Singapore is S$5,787. Premiums can vary depending on age, gender and coverage.

In terms of age, 25-year olds pay an average of 38% less than 45-year olds; 55-year olds pay 27% more than 45-year olds. After the age of 65, premiums start to increase much more dramatically and for most providers, the pricing is subject to underwriting.

Lastly, your premium will change depending on your coverage needs. The most basic plans offered by insurers cost an average of S$5,787 for 45-year olds, while the maximum coverage plans cost 46% more at an average of S$8,455. We found that the price increase (basic VS top-tier plans) ranges around 46% to 54% in the below comparison.

cost comparison of internal health insurance for expats living in singapore

Average Cost of International Health Insurance for Singaporeans Abroad

A 45-year old Singaporean who is considered a global citizen (i.e. those who travel often or work abroad) can expect to pay S$4,770 for basic tier worldwide coverage.

Premiums for international health insurance plans change depending on gender, age, location and coverage. Pricing tends to increase with age: while you may start off by paying an average of S$2,760 per year for a low tier international plan when you are 25, you may end up paying as much as S$6,766 per year by the time you are 55.

Cost Comparison Of Internal Health Insurance for Singaporeans Living abroad

In terms of geographical coverage, premiums are cheaper if you limit your coverage to the ASEAN region instead of worldwide coverage. Additionally, worldwide plans that include the United States in their coverage will cost more than plans that exclude it. One such reason is the cost of healthcare in the respective countries (being covered).

Lastly, your premium changes depending on how much coverage you need. Top-tier plans with high coverage limits cost an average of S$6,933 for a 45-year old – 31% higher than the average cost of S$4,770 for the same person buying a basic plan with lower benefit limits. This change in pricing remains fairly constant regardless of age or gender. However, you can shave 10%-20% off your annual premium if you opt to have a deductible, making higher tiered plans more affordable.

Average Benefits of International Health Insurance

The base coverage for International health insurance plans is inpatient hospitalisation coverage, which is about S$1,543,039 on average.

Compared to the basic-tier annual hospitalisation limit, top-tier plans have a limit that is 318% higher (average at S$4,900,000) while the mid-tier plans have an annual limit that is 98% higher (average at S$3,061,078).

Most international health insurance plans cover hospitalisation, physician consultations, outpatient day surgeries, ambulance transportation, cancer treatment and accidental dental treatment. You can also find other benefits such as alternative treatment and medical evacuation.

BenefitsAvg. Basic PlanAvg. Mid-Tier PlanAvg. Top Tier Plan
Annual LimitS$1,543,039S$3,061,078S$4,900,000.00
Hospitalisation ChargesFully CoveredFully CoveredFully Covered
Medical EvacuationS$1,000,000S$1,000,000S$1,000,000
Local Ambulance ServicesFully CoveredFully CoveredFully Covered
*Information as of March 2024

To supplement your coverage, you can buy outpatient, dental/vision and maternity add-ons. These add-ons can vary in price from S$300 to over S$5,000 and provide outpatient and general care benefits including dental checkups, vaccinations, childbirth and pre and post-natal care.

Integrated Shield Plans vs. International Health Insurance: Which One Should You Get?

Local health insurance (MediShield Life or Integrated Shield Plan) will not be able to cover your overseas medical needs if you are a Singaporean relocating abroad to work. For non-Singaporean or non-Singapore PRs moving to Singapore for study or work, international health insurance is an insurance coverage that you may want to consider getting for yourself and your family, if they are relocating with you. Healthcare costs are subsidised for Singaporeans, but for foreigners, this can be a hefty cost!

Integrated Shield Plans are best for Singaporean citizens or permanent residents who want to supplement their MediShield Life coverage or stay at higher level wards. Because Integrated Shield Plans do not offer comprehensive international coverage, it is not recommended for Singaporeans who spend a considerable amount of time abroad for work or split their lives between two locations.

Alternatively, foreigners in Singapore and Singaporeans who spend a lot of time travelling for work or spend long periods in a foreign country may benefit most from an international health insurance plan. For expats in Singapore, purchasing an international policy from a local insurer may be more convenient for claims and payments. Singaporeans who travel often to a particular location/ region for a long period (where the outbound Singapore period is such that travel insurance will not cover) or split time between two places may benefit more from an international insurer that offers payments in multiple currencies.

Methodology and Considerations

To calculate the average premiums and benefits of the health insurance plans offered to Singaporeans, we gathered data on premiums and benefits from the MediShield approved plans, international plans offered by local insurers and plans from international insurers who offer coverage for global citizens and expats. We then gathered premiums for a variety of ages for non-smoking males and females. To further get an idea of the average cost of international plans, we looked at changes in pricing due to not only age and gender but geographical limits as well.

It is important to note that the quotes represented are averages only and that individual quotes may differ based on your specific medical history. Thus the quotes shown should only be used as a guide to help find out how health insurance policies fit within your budget.


Choosing the right health insurance is vital as it is considered a long-term investment. Switching insurers can backfire as it can result in higher premiums and exclusions of previously covered chronic conditions. Thus, it is vital to choose a health plan that offers the right coverage and premium that you will be able to afford not just at current age, but in the future as well.

Furthermore, it is important to discuss with your insurer what conditions are excluded from coverage. While some insurers will absolutely refuse coverage for pre-existing conditions, others may include them on a case by case basis or charge an extra percentage (aka loading) on your premium in exchange for giving you the coverage. 

If you would like to learn more about the types of health insurance that is available, reach out to us here.

Discover The Best Health Insurance PlansFind Out More

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