Manage Healthcare Costs
Managing Healthcare Costs
ON THIS PAGE
- What You Can Get As a Singapore Citizen or PR
- MediShield Life
- Integrated Shield Plan(IP)
- MediSave/Flexi-MediSave for Seniors
- CareShield Life
- Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS)
- How You Can Make Sure You Have Enough for Medical Expenses
What You Can Get (As a Singapore Citizen or PR)
MediShield Life is a health insurance scheme that provides all Singapore residents with universal and lifelong protection against large healthcare bills, regardless of your age or health conditions.
MediShield Life helps you pay for large hospitalisation bills and selected costly outpatient treatments, such as dialysis and chemotherapy for cancer.
To keep premiums affordable, MediShield Life benefits are sized based on subsidised bills in public hospitals. If you seek unsubsidised treatment in public hospitals or private hospitals, you will also be able to claim from MediShield Life. However, as unsubsidised bills are much higher, MediShield Life will cover a smaller proportion of the bill.
Learn more about the benefits under MediShield Life here.
All Singapore Citizens (SCs) and Permanent Residents (PRs) are automatically covered from birth, or when you attain SC/PR status. There is no need to apply for MediShield Life coverage.
You can check your personalized MediShield Life premiums here.
Integrated Shield Plan(IP)
You should consider the following questions when deciding whether to buy an IP:
- Do you need to stay in private wards and do you need to choose your own doctor?
- MediShield Life will provide enough coverage for your large hospital bills in B2 or C Class wards in public hospitals.
- Integrated Shield Plans (IP) provide additional coverage if you want to stay in A or B1 Class wards or in private hospitals.
- The additional private insurance coverage component premiums could be up to 4 times of your MediShield Life premiums, when you are in your 80s.
- Premiums will increase as you get older. You will need to ensure you can afford the higher premiums especially at older ages when you have stopped working.
- IP premiums above the Additional Withdrawal Limits (AWLs)  will have to be paid in cash. You will need to consider whether you can afford to top up the difference in cash, especially at older ages when you have stopped working.
 AWLs refer to the maximum amount of MediSave that can be used to pay for the additional private insurance coverage component. The excess premiums above AWLs are payable in cash.
When choosing an IP, make sure you understand the differences in coverage, premiums, and claim limits.
To explore which plan best suits your healthcare needs, and the premiums you need to be able to pay over the long term, here’s a comparison of IPs.
There is a range of IPs run by various major insurance companies in Singapore. They are authorised to act as your single point of contact. They will collect premium payments and disburse your claims for the MediShield Life component in your IP.
MediSave (and Flexi-MediSave for Seniors)
MediSave is your personal healthcare savings account. When you are working, you save between 8% to 10.5% (depending on your age) of your monthly salary in your MediSave Account. This helps you set aside part of your income for your healthcare expenses, especially those incurred during your retirement years.
You can use your MediSave to pay for your personal/ approved dependants*:
*Note: Approved dependants are your spouse, children, parents, grandparents and siblings. They can be of any nationality except for your grandparents and siblings who must be Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents.
- Hospitalisation, day surgery and certain costly outpatient expenses, as well as healthcare needs in old age.
- Health insurance premiums
- MediShield Life, ElderShield and CareShield Life premiums are fully payable from your MediSave.
- MediSave may also be used to pay for Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) and ElderShield Supplements, up to withdrawal limits.
Learn more about the benefits and considerations on the use of MediSave here.
You can withdraw up to the respective MediSave Withdrawal Limits for hospitalisation and outpatient treatments. You can check with your hospital or healthcare provider for more details.
Learn more about the MediSave Withdrawal Limits here.
The MediSave/MediShield Life Calculator helps you estimate how much you can withdraw from MediSave and / or claim from MediShield Life. Learn more here.
Under this scheme, you can withdraw up to $200 per year per patient for outpatient medical treatments, if you are aged 60 or older. You may also use your spouse’s MediSave, if your spouse is also aged 60 and above.
The scheme covers treatment received at polyclinics, Specialist Outpatient Clinics (SOCs) and participating CHAS general practitioners (GPs).
Flexi-MediSave may be used in conjunction with other outpatient MediSave schemes, such as MediSave500/700.
It generally covers consultations fees, medical services, drugs and tests necessary for diagnosis or treatment of a medical condition, as ordered by your doctor. However, it does not include dental treatment.
CareShield Life is a long-term care insurance scheme that provides basic financial support should Singaporeans become severely disabled, especially during old age, and need personal and medical care for a prolonged duration (i.e. long-term care).
CareShield Life provides you the following in times of severe disability:
- Lifetime coverage
(even after you complete your premium payment at age 67 or for 10 years after joining the scheme, whichever is later)
- Lifelong cash payouts for as long as you are severely disabled.
- Increasing payouts over time: from 2020 to 2025, the payouts will increase at 2% per year, and thereafter be subject to the independent CareShield Life Council’s review
- Worldwide coverage: You will remain covered, be able to make a claim regardless of where you are residing, and receive payouts.
See illustration example below:
If you are...
- Born in 1980 or later
You will be automatically covered by CareShield Life on 1 October 2020 or when you turn 30, whichever is later, regardless of pre-existing medical conditions and disability. There is no need to apply for CareShield Life.
If you are...
- Born in 1979 or earlier
Your participation in CareShield Life is optional^. If you wish to join CareShield Life, you may access the Application to join CareShield Life e-Service (available from 6 November 2021) with your Singpass.
You’ll be automatically enrolled into CareShield Life if you’re:
- Born between 1970 and 1979
- Insured under ElderShield 400, and
- Not severely disabled
No action is required if you wish to join CareShield Life. You will receive a CareShield Life welcome package which provides more information on your CareShield Life coverage and personalised premiums. If you don’t wish to remain on CareShield Life, you can choose to opt out by 31 December 2023.
^Except foreigners who become Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents from 1 October 2020 onwards, for whom participation is mandatory unless they’re severely disabled.
For more information, visit careshieldlife.gov.sg.
Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS)
Since 1 Nov 2019, all Singaporean citizens are now eligible to apply for the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS).
Apply for your CHAS card for your household here if you have yet to do so.
You can visit any participating CHAS clinic of your choice, using this clinic locator.
To enjoy the subsidies, you need to show your valid CHAS, MG or PG card and NRIC upon registration at clinic.
For those below 15 years old, you will have to present a valid CHAS card with your student ID or birth certificate.
You may log in to MyCHAS using your Singpass to check your subsidy claim balance for the year. Alternatively, you may call the CHAS hotline at 1800-275-2427.
How You Can Make Sure You Have Enough for Medical Expenses
As a Self-Employed Person (SEP)
All Self-Employed Persons (SEPs) who are Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents and earn an annual Net Trade Income (NTI) of more than $6,000 need to contribute to MediSave.
NTI is your gross trade income minus all allowable business expenses, capital allowances and trade losses as determined by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).
Your MediSave contribution depends on your age and annual NTI. Use the Self-Employed MediSave Contribution Calculator to calculate the amount of MediSave to contribute, or refer to the MediSave contribution rates for Self-Employed Persons.
When you contribute to MediSave, you enjoy:
- Up to 6% interest per annum on your MediSave savings
- Savings in your MediSave Account earn 4% interest per annum, and the first $60,000 of your combined CPF balances earns an additional 1% interest per annum. CPF Members aged 55 and above also enjoy an additional 1% interest per annum on the first $30,000 of their combined CPF balance from 1 January 2016.
- Tax relief of up to 37% of your annual NTI, or the CPF Annual Limit of $37,740, whichever is lower
- Using your MediSave savings for:
- Healthcare expenses for you and your family
- Premium payment for MediShield Life (a medical insurance scheme for serious or prolonged illnesses), or MediSave-approved private Integrated Shield Plans
You may also be eligible for Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) payouts of up to $2,667 annually.
You can also get more details on the WIS scheme.
You can check the amount of MediSave contributions you need to make, by logging in to the Self-employment dashboard via CPF website using your Singpass.
You can apply for your Singpass online if you do not have one.
There are several ways you can contribute to your MediSave account. The most convenient way is via GIRO, which allows automatic monthly deductions from your bank account. You may apply to pay via GIRO online (if you have a bank account from OCBC/ DBS/ POSB) or by mail (for other banks).
The payment options are:
Using my cpf digital services:
PayNow eNETS Debit – payment by DBS/POSB, OCBC, Standard Chartered Bank or United Overseas Bank internet banking
Pay by NETS or CashCard at any SingPost branches
For other banks, the payment options and service standards for processing electronic payments are as follows:
- Via PayNow QR: Payment will be processed almost immediately
- Via eNETS Debit: Payment will be processed within the next working day.
You can also log into my CPF digital services with your Singpass to check the transaction status:
- Confirm whether your MediSave contribution is reflected in Self-employment statement history under the Self-employment dashboard, or
- Check the transaction status under My activities (if you paid via e-Cashier)
To claim this relief, there are a few conditions to meet (as stated below).
- Your CPF contributions to your Medisave Account (both mandatory and voluntary) in the previous year were less than $5,000
- You have paid the premiums for your life insurance policy in the previous year
Life insurance relief cannot be claimed on premiums paid for the following:
- Accident or health insurance that covers the sum assured for the death of a person
- ElderShield, CareShield Life or Integrated Shield Plans
You can use this calculator to check your eligibility.
As a Caregiver to Your Family and Loved Ones
You can top up your family members’ MediSave Account using your CPF savings or cash. You get to also reduce your tax bill.
You can also top up your MediSave up to the Basic Healthcare Sum
You can use this for future medical expenses and health insurance premiums.
Use this self-assessment tool to check for the grants and subsidies you could be eligible for, as a caregiver to your family. Some of the grants include:
- Caregivers Training Grant (CTG) to learn how to help your loved ones better in daily care.
- Medical Fee Exemption Card if you have a loved one staying in nursing homes
- Home Caregiving Grant to support your loved ones with at least permanent moderate disability
You may also be interested in:
This page will be updated as additional schemes and measures are introduced.
Please contact the respective government agencies if you have any questions about the listings on this page.
Last updated: 31 Oct 2021
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