Cost of healthcare in Singapore: What to consider

9th July 2020 by Lindsay Yap 3 Min ReadSingapore is known for its top-notch healthcare system – great news for all of us, though it can also mean some hefty bills! To help navigate the issues around these costs, we asked the team at Pacific Prime to give us a better understanding of how the healthcare system works, the cost of healthcare in Singapore and what you need to factor in if you want to live here as an expat.#1 No subsidies for expatsSingapore citizens and permanent residents have access to various subsidised healthcare services through government healthcare facilities. Unfortunately, expats don’t enjoy the same luxury and will be charged regular high rates. To ensure that you don’t need to pay everything out of your pocket when living in Singapore, buying a private health insurance plan is essential. #2 Public vs private healthcare in SingaporeIn Singapore, healthcare is made up of two sectors: public and private. The option you choose will have a significant effect on the price you pay. It’s common for private clinics and hospitals to have a higher price range than public alternatives. However, the difference has become less steep over recent years since the two are in direct competition. So why is the private sector more expensive? It offers a better service level to start with as well as many add-ons. Private facilities usually come with shorter waiting times and more privacy.#3 High-quality healthcarePrivate facilities may offer more perks compared to public medical centres, but you can be certain that any hospital you go to will be of a high standard. Hospitals in Singapore are equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment, well-maintained facilities and have highly-trained and caring staff. This is why the cost of healthcare in Singapore is on the high end. Both public and private facilities also ensure that the entire process is efficient from start to finish. All of these reasons and more are why many expats living in other parts of Asia visit Singapore for medical care.#4 Difference in doctors’ experienceOne option that you might have in Singapore is to choose to see either a junior or senior doctor. The local medical system values time spent practicing and experience, which means that a more senior doctor will come with a higher rate.#5 Costs and locationLocation is a key factor to consider when you’re choosing a clinic or hospital. Prices can vary depending on where the facility is located. For instance, a clinic in the Central Business District (CBD) is going to have higher prices than a family clinic in a suburban area.It’s advisable to find a doctor that’s close to your home and another that’s near your office. You might want to consider finding another one near your children’s school, just in case. To save on healthcare costs, you can secure individual health insurance in Singapore for access to a wide medical network and have inpatient and outpatient expenses covered. Handy tip: Be wary of cheap insurance plansYou get what you pay for when it comes to health insurance so don’t be enticed by health insurance plans with appealingly low premiums. These are usually too good to be true and often result in extra costs such as rejected claims. The most common risks associated with cheap health insurance plans include:A small network of healthcare providersUnpredictable premium increasesLow limitsLimited options for pre-existing condition coverage, or none at allMany exclusionsNo outpatient benefitsPoor customer serviceNeed some help?Whether you’re looking for individual health insurance or family health insurance in Singapore, consider seeking the expert advice of a reputable insurance broker such as Pacific Prime. Their team of experts are happy to answer insurance-related questions and help you customise the ideal insurance plan for your needs and budget. Contact Pacific Prime Singapore for advice or an obligation-free quotation.You can also check out Pacific Prime’s State of Health Insurance Report for a deeper understanding of key insurance trends.Written in collaboration with:Pacific Prime Singapore18 Cross Street, China Square Central, #14-056346 3781 | pacificprime.sgRead on for more about insurance and other health and fitness topics in Singapore:Top six health issues in SingaporeLocal vs international health insurance