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 full rider*, the majority of your bill can be covered, meaning you only have to pay for the 10% co-insurance and deductible portions. But even these fees may be covered with a full private hospital rider, resulting in an end bill of $0. This includes pre- and post- treatment, as well as follow-up care.
A private hospital ISP and matching full rider will even cover your bill if you visit the accident and emergency department, as long as you are admitted for at least 8 hours.
2. Do private hospitals provide fixed price surgery packages?
When treating medical conditions, not everything turns out the way it was planned. Sometimes there are complications, and patients require a longer recovery period or further surgery as a result of the initial procedure. This can cause medical costs to escalate beyond what was originally expected.
Many private hospitals offer fixed-fee packages, available not only to Singaporeans and Permanent Residents, but also foreigners and corporate insurance or ISP holders.
For example, Parkway East Hospital offers a diagnostic colonoscopy bundle of $1,784, which includes doctor’s fees. With MediSave paying up to $1,250 and the ISP and rider paying for the remainder, patients will not have to pay any additional charges when they are discharged.
3. Is MediShield Life alone sufficient?
Singaporeans and Permanent Residents who want more choices in treatment and care may opt to top up their MediShield Life coverage with an ISP and full rider.
At private hospitals where a cashless service is available, having an ISP and full rider* makes it possible for your medical treatment to cost $0. This means that patients eligible for the service will have nothing to pay for when they are admitted or discharged.
4. Are all ISPs the same?
- 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 full rider.
5. Am I affected by the new rider guidelines?
Many people are concerned over the new guidelines announced by the Ministry of Health 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 at all, 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.
Full riders will no longer be sold from 1 April 2019.
If you are concerned about your healthcare coverage, you can contact our claims advisor team. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call +65 6812 3776, WhatsApp +65 8799 7787, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Terms and conditions apply. Valid for full riders purchased before 1 April 2019. For more information, visit checkmyhealthcoverage.sg or contact the numbers listed above.