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Quality Expat Health Insurance in Singapore

Singapore is a sovereign island city-state in Southeast Asia and is officially known as the Republic of Singapore. This beautiful country strikes an excellent balance between the ultra-modern world and a garden paradise.

Locals refer to it as either the “Lion City” or “Garden City”. It is easy to see why this City in a Garden is so named, almost 50% of the island is given over to green space.

There is no surprise that expats flock to this thriving metropolis. Local and overseas companies offer a wealth of opportunities for experienced business men and women from all over the world. As for expat retirees, it is very easy to understand why Singapore’s climate and lifestyle attracts them in droves.

The city and its surroundings offer world-class infrastructure, a business environment that is more than dynamic along with vibrant living spaces that are rich in culture. Taking in everything that Singapore has to offer is also easily achievable thanks to the fully integrated island-wide transport system.

A diverse, harmonious multicultural living environment

If diversity is what you are looking for then Singapore is most certainly for you. When it comes to culture, religion, food, language, and history the island offers it all. Such aspects of life are largely due to an extremely harmonious environment that spreads across its 4 main ethnic groups.

There is no doubt that Singapore has got the mentioned balance right. This melting pot of cultures and races is a vibrant brew which gives the Lion City its unique character.

The Chinese make up almost 75% of the country’s population and this is reflected by their influence in business, food, entertainment and festivals. Next comes the modern day Singaporean Malay community.

Malayans are the original settlers of Singapore and to this day are a very tight-knit community. It was their initial culture and food that has had an influence on all those who arrived after them. Singapore’s lively street food scene is an experience to savor time and again and Malayan cooking is a mainstay that is sure to tempt those taste buds. 

You then have the Indian population, their colorful culture and food adds vibrance and spice to life in Singapore.  Last but certainly not least in terms of style and influence comes the Eurasian community. This ethnic group has been present in Singapore since the early 19th-century and encapsulates the fascinating East meets West vibe the country offers.

International health insurance is a must for expats

If you are one of the many expats currently living in this tropical haven or are preparing for a new life there, one thing that must be put in place is quality expat health insurance in Singapore.

As will be explained, the medical care and health system in Singapore offers expats treatment and procedures that match the best the world has to offer. Once that has been explained there will be important sections on the best expat insurance in Singapore with details on the type of services offered across the board. From there we will finish off with broad information on the cost of expat health insurance in the country.

The medical care and health system in Singapore

Singapore's health system is a shining example of how universal health coverage for citizens and permanent residents can work effectively. The Garden City is consistently ranked among the best countries in the world when it comes to an all-inclusive health system. Facilities in both public and private health establishments are of a very high standard while treatment comes from highly trained medical staff who are knowledgeable, friendly and speak English.

A highly efficient health system - The Singapore secret

It all began in the 1970’s when the Singaporean government decided forward-planning was necessary to put in place health and treatment plans for its aging population. This was based on their increasing awareness of the costs involved to care appropriately for their citizens.

What this means is that each person has an obligation to save a certain amount from their monthly salary in order to participate in financing medical expenses they will encounter in their lifetime. Any unused savings in these accounts generate interest. The main thrust of such a system is to avoid overuse of medical care and treatment facilities.

Roll onto the current day and modern hospitals and clinics with state-of-the-art equipment abound. This has turned Singapore into Asia’s healthcare center of excellence.

There are now 20 health facilities that have achieved international JCI (Joint Commission International) accreditation. The JCI is a highly regarded American institution which establishes global quality standards of medical facilities. An example of Singapore’s standing is shown through the fact that the centrally located,  257-bed private Gleneagles Hospital is ranked as one of the world’s top 10 best hospitals.

This all-inclusive health system for permanent residents is based around a 3M concept - Medisave, MediShield and Medifund. This gives flexibility in choice between the public and private healthcare sectors. One important point to note is that compulsory subscription is required for foreigners who have taken up permanent residency.

Ease of access to medical care facilities

Expats who feel unwell or fall ill and it is not an emergency situation can rest assured that there is an efficient care system to take advantage of. Your first stop should be a visit to a local doctor’s clinic. There are a healthy number of these in and around the city. Once your condition has been assessed you will either be given medication or have the option of being referred to a specialist. 

On repeat prescription medication, expats need to be aware that Singapore does not accept international prescriptions. This means you will need to visit a local doctor in order to get a Singaporean same or equivalent prescription to meet the needs of your condition.

While GPs do offer referrals for specialist healthcare, expats can also choose to independently research the treatment they require. This is seen as a good route to take because it will ensure you are seen by a specialist most suited to your needs. A good example here is that personal research can help you find an appropriate specialist who speaks your native language.

Polyclinics are a highly attractive proposition

If follow-up checks, health screenings, outpatient care and in some cases dental treatment is required this will usually be carried out at a polyclinic. A polyclinic should be seen as a “super-clinic” and is classed as a ‘one-stop’ health center. With more than 20 polyclinics spread across the city, expats are certainly not short of choice.

These establishments have a wide variety of different doctors in place who provide such services as primary medical treatment, x-rays, and preventive healthcare. They also dispense health education advice.

To take advantage of the wide ranging medical services that polyclinics offer, expats can make appointments in advance. However, it is not a requirement to register in advance for any specific healthcare facility. This is because on-site (upon arrival) registration at your chosen polyclinic is straightforward and fast.

Upon your first visit you simply complete the required forms and these details will be stored in an advanced central electronic health system database for future reference.

Emergency care

In the event emergency care is required the emergency telephone number to call an ambulance is 995. While there are emergency rooms (A&E or Accident and Emergency Departments) across the city these can often have longer wait times.

To avoid this, putting in place the right international healthcare policy is strongly recommended. This is because you will then be fully aware of the chosen private hospital(s) you want to receive such emergency treatment in.

The best international health insurance in Singapore

When considering quality expat health insurance in Singapore the choice of cover is wide. 

While many companies include health insurance schemes as part of an expats employment package it is important to understand the benefits of an international health insurance plan. This is seen as being by far the best option for expats as opposed to a local health plan.

A well-structured private health insurance scheme offers expats freedom of choice in terms of access to specialists, doctors and medical establishments. This stands not only within Singapore but for the many other countries you can choose to incorporate in your zone of cover. 

There is no question that treatment and facilities are excellent in Singapore. However, this gives expats the option of being treated in their home country or another country within their zone of cover. With the appropriate expat medical cover such costs could be reimbursed by your insurance provider.

On top of this, if you leave Singapore and move elsewhere in the world your international health insurance plan may be able to follow you. There is no doubt that a well-structured plan equates to best-of-breed expat health insurance while in Singapore.

Just to reiterate, if a foreigner becomes a permanent resident, private medical insurance does not replace your given obligation to subscribe to the local system. However, any chosen international health policy will cover you in addition to the basic State cover provided.

By the very nature of expat life it stands that the majority will not take up permanent resident status and will not be covered under the ‘3M’ system . This means paying for your medical expenses directly. While this may be achieved in part via your company health insurance policy it is strongly recommended that subscription to a private health insurance package is put in place.

There are valid reasons for taking out comprehensive international health insurance cover. Without it you will find the cost of care can be expensive. There is no doubt that should serious medical attention be required these unexpected bills can hit any savings very hard.

Peace of mind for the quality of expat life you deserve

Whether you are working or retired, single, married, or have a family with you, the quality of life for expats in this beautiful Garden City is second to none. There are many aspects to be enjoyed. To ensure you make the most of this vibrant environment it is wise to seek out the best international expat health insurance in Singapore.

There is no one specific policy to fit all expats and that makes complete sense. It is all down to your personal needs. Things to bear in mind will include your expat status, medical history, age and the individual medical cover you want for yourself and any family members.

Cost of quality expat health insurance in Singapore

When considering quality expat health insurance in Singapore the choice of cover is wide. 

While many companies include health insurance schemes as part of an expats employment package it is important to understand the benefits of an international health insurance plan. This is seen as being by far the best option for expats as opposed to a local health plan.

A well-structured private health insurance scheme offers expats freedom of choice in terms of access to specialists, doctors and medical establishments. This stands not only within Singapore but for the many other countries you can choose to incorporate in your zone of cover. 

There is no question that treatment and facilities are excellent in Singapore. However, this gives expats the option of being treated in their home country or another country within their zone of cover. With the appropriate expat medical cover such costs could be reimbursed by your insurance provider.

On top of this, if you leave Singapore and move elsewhere in the world your international health insurance plan may be able to follow you. There is no doubt that a well-structured plan equates to best-of-breed expat health insurance while in Singapore.

Just to reiterate, if a foreigner becomes a permanent resident, private medical insurance does not replace your given obligation to subscribe to the local system. However, any chosen international health policy will cover you in addition to the basic State cover provided.

By the very nature of expat life it stands that the majority will not take up permanent resident status and will not be covered under the ‘3M’ system . This means paying for your medical expenses directly. While this may be achieved in part via your company health insurance policy it is strongly recommended that subscription to a private health insurance package is put in place.

There are valid reasons for taking out comprehensive international health insurance cover. Without it you will find the cost of care can be expensive. There is no doubt that should serious medical attention be required these unexpected bills can hit any savings very hard.

Peace of mind for the quality of expat life you deserve

Whether you are working or retired, single, married, or have a family with you, the quality of life for expats in this beautiful Garden City is second to none. There are many aspects to be enjoyed. To ensure you make the most of this vibrant environment it is wise to seek out the best international expat health insurance in Singapore.

There is no one specific policy to fit all expats and that makes complete sense. It is all down to your personal needs. Things to bear in mind will include your expat status, medical history, age and the individual medical cover you want for yourself and any family members.

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