Health Insurance

Average Cost and Benefits of Health Insurance 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 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.

Average Cost of Integrated Shield Plans

The average cost of an Integrated Shield Plan covering a B1 ward for non-smoking 45-year-old men and women in Singapore is S$132—not including Medishield Life premiums or Medisave contributions. Because premiums change depending on your age, this price could be as low as S$69 before Medisave contributions for 25-year-olds. For 75-year-olds, however, the price could increase to S$1,063 before Medisave contributions (or S$60 after the maximum Additional Withdrawal Limit is applied). Generally, we found that premiums increase by about 50-70% for every 10 years of age.

This graph shows the average cost of a  B1 hospital ward Integrated Shield Plan depending on age in Singapore

Premiums for IP's also change depending on the ward you want. The average non-Standard B1 ward plan costs S$132 for a 45-year-old. In contrast, a B2 Standard ward plan costs 20% less at S$104 for the same person, while a private hospital plan costs 380% more at S$638. Furthermore, premiums changed in a similar manner depending on the ward regardless of the insured person's age.

This graph shows the average cost of an private hospital Integrated Shield Plan in Singapore based on age

Average Cost of Integrated Shield Plan Riders

The average cost of adding a rider to your IP plan is S$309 for a 45-year old non-smoking Singaporean. This price decreases by 35% to S$198 for a 25 year old and increases by 370% to S$1,461 for a 75-year old. The combination of Integrated Shield Plan and rider costs S$671 for 45-year-olds on average, but can decrease by 70% to S$330 for a 25-year olds or increase by 460% to S$3,778 for 75-year olds.

This graph shows the average cost of an Integrated Shield Plan rider by age

Average Benefits of Integrated Shield Plans

While standard IP plans have an annual limit of S$150,000 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$300,000 for public hospital B1 ward plan, which increases by 240% to S$1,025,000 for private hospital plans. Pre and post-hospitalisation coverage for B1 ward plans is 120 and 180 days respectively, but increases to 150 and 273 days, respectively, for private hospital plans. Miscellaneous benefits can include alternative treatment and final expense coverage.

Average BenefitsStandard PlanWard B1Ward APrivate Hosp.
Annual LimitS$150,000S$300,000S$550,000S$1,025,000
Cancer TreatmentS$5,200/sessionAs ChargedAs ChargedAs Charged
Kidney DialysisS$2,750/monthAs ChargedAs ChargedAs Charged
Inpatient PsychiatricS$17,500S$10,200S$91,643S$174,167
Daily Ward TreatmentS$1,700/dayAs ChargedAs ChargedAs Charged
Pre-Hospitalisation Benefits (Days)N/A90120150
Post-Hospitalisation Benefits (Days)N/A90180273

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

Rider BenefitsAmount
Parental Accommodation in WardS$630
Ambulance/Taxi CoverageS$147
Alternative TreatmentS$5,521
Emergency OutpatientS$1,650

Average Cost of International Health Insurance for Foreigners in Singapore

The average cost of international health insurance plan for a 45 year old expat living in Singapore is S$3,227. Premiums can vary depending on age, gender and coverage. For example, a 45 year old female foreigner would pay slightly higher premiums at S$3,263 compared to S$3,191 for a male. In terms of age, 25-year olds pay less than 45-year olds by 40% and 65-year olds pay more than 45-year olds by 150%. After the age of 65, premiums start to increase much more drastically: 75-year olds pay 170% more than 65-year olds, with their annual premiums skyrocketing to upwards of S$20,000.

This graph shows the average cost of an international health insurance policy by age and gender for an Expat living in Singapore

Lastly, your premium will change depending on your coverage needs. The most basic plans offered by insurers cost an average of S$2,046 for 45-year olds, while maximum coverage plans costs 125% more for an average of S$5,386. We found that this price increase is similar regardless of age.

This graph shows the price comparison of basic vs. premium tier health insurance plans 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$4,162 for worldwide coverage. Premiums for international health insurance plans change depending on gender, age, location and coverage. Females pay 11% more on average than males, with 45-year old females paying S$4,042 per year compared to S$3,643 per year for 45-year old males. Additionally, an increase in age means an increase in premiums, with prices increasing 40% for every 10 year increase in age.

This graph shows the average cost of international health insurance by age and gender for Singaporeans who are living or working abroad

In terms of geographical coverage, premiums can be 30% cheaper if you limit your coverage to the ASEAN region instead of worldwide coverage. Additionally, worldwide plans that exclude the United States in their coverage cost on average 75% less than plans that include it.

Lastly, your premium changes depending on how much coverage you need. Top-tier plans with high coverage limits cost an average of S$5,941 for 45-year old males—160% higher the average cost of S$2,104 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 a minimum of 10%-20% off your annual premium if you opt to have a deductible, making higher tiered plans more affordable.

This graph shows the cost comparison of basic tier plans versus top-tier plans for Singaporeans living abroad

Average Benefits of International Health Insurance

The base coverage for International health insurance plans is inpatient hospitalisation coverage, which is about S$2,029,054 on average. The average pre and post-hospitalisation coverage is 110 days. Also, top-tier plans have an annual limit that is 66% higher the industry average at S$3,386,364, while the basic-tier plans have an annual limit that is 53% lower at S$1,079,091. While most plans fully cover hospitalisation, physician consultations, outpatient day surgeries, ambulance transportation, cancer and accidental dental treatment, you can also find insurer-unique benefits such as alternative treatment and medical evacuation.

BenefitIndustry Average
Annual Limit2,029,054
Hospitalisation ChargesAs Charged
ICUAs Charged
Physician ConsultationAs Charged
Cancer TreatmentAs Charged
Daily Hospital CashS$191
Pregnancy ComplicationsS$1,788,549
Inpatient Psych Treatment1,020,944

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?

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 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. Also, Singaporeans who travel often to a particular location 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 all 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 a 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.

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Anastassia Evlanova

Anastassia is a Senior Research Analyst at ValueChampion Singapore, evaluating insurance products for consumers based on quantitative and qualitative financial analysis. She holds degrees in Economics and International Business Management and her prior working experience includes work in the capital markets sector. Her analyses surrounding insurance, healthcare, international affairs and personal finance has been featured on AsiaOne, Business Insider, DW, Vice, Her World, Asia Insurance Review, the Australian Institute of International Affairs and more.

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