Last updated on 26 March 2021
Global healthcare costs are rapidly rising as our population ages. Chronic conditions become more prevalent, and demand for healthcare services outpaces supply. Receiving fast and quality treatment in a comfortable environment, typically promised by private healthcare, is desired by many but may seem unattainable for a growing number of Singaporeans.
If, however, you're a Singaporean or Permanent Resident with an Integrated Shield Plan (ISP), you can still consider choosing private healthcare without fear of breaking the bank.
Here, we answer some common questions surrounding the cost and affordability of private healthcare in Singapore.
1. Am I fully covered for treatment at private hospitals?
With the right ISP and rider, your medical bill can be partially or even fully* covered at private hospitals. This includes consultations, laboratory tests, radiology examinations, rehabilitation sessions, and pre- and post- hospitalisation coverage.
Even if you have purchased a newer Integrated Shield Plan without a full rider (ie. with co-payment riders with a minimum of 5% co-payment), your out-of-pocket costs will likely not exceed 5% of your total hospital bill, if you obtain pre-authorisation with your insurer prior to your surgery with a specialist on the insurer’s panel. This is subject to annual and lifetime policy claim limits.
Still unsure? Call or WhatsApp Parkway Insurance Concierge at +65 9834 0999 to find out if your Integrated Shield Plan covers you and your loved ones at private hospitals like Mount Elizabeth Hospitals, Gleneagles Hospital, and Parkway East Hospital.
An Integrated Shield Plan and matching rider can also cover your bill if you visit the Accident & Emergency department, as long as you are admitted for at least 8 hours.
2. Is MediShield Life alone sufficient?
Singaporeans and Permanent Residents who want additional health insurance coverage and care options (eg. freedom to choose your own doctor, and to stay in a Class A/B1 ward, even in a private hospital) may opt to top up their MediShield Life coverage with an Integrated Shield Plan and rider.
The annual claim limit for ISPs can range from $1 million – $2 million per year (depending on your plan and insurer), and should adequately cover your healthcare needs.
With an ISP and rider, your out-of-pocket expenses for your hospitalisation and treatment bills will also be minimal. Get an estimate of your out-of-pocket expenses for common surgical procedures (with a single-room stay) at Mount Elizabeth Hospitals, Gleneagles Hospital, and Parkway East Hospital.
3. Are all ISPs the same?
Many people believe all ISPs are the same. The fact is there are 3 different types of ISPs:
- The lowest-cost ISPs cover up to Class B public hospital wards
- The next tier covers up to Class A public hospital wards
- The top tier covers up to private hospitals
An ISP would allow your hospital bill to be covered, with the exception of the co-insurance and deductible. These fees can also be covered, however, with the purchase of a rider.
4. Am I affected by the new rider guidelines?
Many people are concerned over the new guidelines announced by the Ministry of Health in 2018 in regards to the sale of riders. The main worry surrounding this is the misconception that the medical coverage of those who already purchased riders will be affected.
However, those who bought a full rider before 8 March 2018 will not be affected*, as long as they have an ISP that covers private hospital treatment. Even those who purchased a full rider after 8 March will still be entitled to full coverage on co-insurance and deductible components till 1 April 2021. After that, the 5% co-payment applies.
*As of 31 March 2021. Please check with your insurance agent for exact coverage and policy changes
Full riders are no longer sold from 1 April 2019.
Even if you have an Integrated Shield Plan with a co-payment rider (and not full), the amount of cash you need to fork out for medical bills will be minimal.
Get an estimate of your out-of-pocket expenses for common surgical procedures (and a single-room stay) at Mount Elizabeth Hospitals, Gleneagles Hospital, and Parkway East Hospital. You may be surprised at how affordable private healthcare can be.
*For existing policies as of 31 March 2021. Please check with your insurance agent for exact coverage and policy changes.