If you haven’t been to hospital in Singapore or if you are new here, the system might look a bit confusing. The team at Expat Insurance Singapore have taken the time to go through everything that you need to know about going into hospital while you are here. First of all, make sure that you have expat health cover while you are living in Singapore. If you don’t have this sorted out yet, contact your health insurance broker or our team for an Expat Insurance quote. If you already have expat medical insurance – brilliant! You are on a roll.
Singapore offers some of the best healthcare in the world. There are both private and government hospitals and you can access both of these using your expat health insurance. Both public and private provide excellent care, but there are a few differences. Government hospitals are usually less expensive and busier. Private hospitals are more expensive but much quieter and offer a more personalized experience. If you’d like to know more, give the team a call to check your hospital cover. Almost all expat medical insurance has some hospital cover, so we will help you work out what’s included with yours.
What do I do if I have a medical emergency in Singapore?
The emergency number to call in Singapore is 995. A Singapore Civil Defence Force ambulance will be dispatched to pick you up and you will be taken to the nearest Accident and Emergency at a government hospital. If the staff at A & E decide that you have not had a medical emergency, you will be charged for the ambulance ($274.00). You cannot request which hospital you want to go to. If you need to go to a specific hospital, you can call 1777 for a non-SCDF ambulance. Unless it is a medical emergency (if the injury is life-threatening or could have long term damage), then you should make your own way to the hospital.
What are the different room types in hospitals?
First, you will decide if you will go public or private. Then, you choose which room type you would like to stay in. If you go public, you can choose from the following:
- WARD C BEDROOM – this is a room with up to 9 beds.
- WARD B2 BEDROOM – this is a room with up to 5 beds.
- WARD B1 BEDROOM – this room has a maximum of 4 beds.
- WARD A BEDROOM – this is either a single or double room.
If you have chosen to go to a private hospital, these are the room types available to you:
- A 4 BED ROOM – you will share the room with three other patients.
- DOUBLE/SEMI-PRIVATE – you will share with one other person.
- SINGLE/PRIVATE – you will have your own room.
Make sure you double to check to see if you have any limits in your policy before you go splashing out on a single room in a private hospital. Costs can add up fast, so give us a call and our team can help you check this.
What is the difference between government and private hospitals in Singapore?
Government hospitals cost less, and they are busier than private hospitals. You have a wider range of room choices that include wards and the prices don’t differ between government hospitals. Here is a link to the MOH that shows these prices and ward/room types.
Because they are a lot busier and see more patients, the accident and emergency wards at public hospitals are busier. If you want to be seen quickly and if you are covered, you would be better arranging a non-SCDF ambulance and going to a private hospital. Let us know if you need some help having a look at your policy to see if emergency care at a private hospital is included.
How do I pay my hospital bill?
Full hospital cover
Some policies have full hospital cover which means that anything that if you are an inpatient in hospital in Singapore, will be covered by the insurer. You will pay the bill when you are discharged and then send it to your insurer to claim.
To reduce the cost of premiums, a lot of young, healthy people opt to pay an agreed-upon amount if they need to go to hospital. This is called a deductible. It could be any amount, but the higher the amount that is paid upon discharge from the hospital, the lower the yearly premium. This would work if you have had no prior health issues. Let our team know if you would like some more details about this.
Letter of Guarantee
If you know that you have surgery or a procedure coming up (like having a baby), you could organise a ‘Letter of Guarantee’ from your insurance provider. Simply put, this is a letter from your insurer that says to the hospital ‘We’ve got the bill, go ahead and do what needs to be done.’ This means that you will not have to pay for anything when you are admitted or discharged. You may have to settle a few things later, but while you are in hospital, you won’t have to worry about payment.
We hope this has cleared up any confusion that you have. If you have any more questions about hospital cover, please give our team a call.