Best International Health Insurance 2018

Whether you are an expat in Singapore or a Singaporean living abroad, international health insurance can be a great way to make sure you have sufficient amount of medical coverage. Read our guide to compare the best international medical insurance plans in Singapore.

Best Cheap International Health Insurance: FWD International 2m & 3m

Consider this if you are an international citizen who wants high quality healthcare for a great price

Optional Deductible S$0-S$10,000
Hospitalisation Accommodation Public Shared/Standard Single

Whether you are a Singaporean who frequently travels for work abroad or you are a foreigner looking for more comprehensive health coverage in Singapore, FWD's International Health Insurance 2m and 3m plans provide comprehensive coverage for market-beating premiums. While these plans cost 70% below the industry average, FWD's annual limit of S$2,000,000-S$3,000,000 makes them some of the highest value plans available. To give you peace of mind, it also provides 100% coverage for some of the most life-threatening procedures including cancer treatment, organ transplants and pregnancy complications regardless of where you are located. Furthermore, if you don't make any hospitalisation claims for two years, your annual limit will double, making FWD a great high coverage option for generally healthy individuals.

This graph shows the cheapest international health insurance plans for expats living in Singapore and Singaporeans who need international coverage

For those who want coverage beyond inpatient hospitalisation, you can also add maternity, dental and outpatient coverage. However, while the increased cost to add dental and outpatient is around the industry norm, maternity benefits cost almost S$3,500 extra and can only be added with the purchase of the outpatient package. Thus, while FWD is a great value option for the average international citizen, budget-conscious women and families may be priced out as annual premiums can reach S$10,000.

BenefitsBenefit LimitIndustry Avg.
Annual LimitS$2,000,000S$1,959,750
Hospitalisation & Surgical BenefitsPaid in FullPaid in Full
Pre-Hospitalisation Coverage (Days)90110
Post-Hospitalisation Coverage (Days)90110
Cancer TreatmentPaid in FullPaid In Full
Medical EvacuationS$1,000,000S$1,984,643
Emergency DentalPaid in FullPaid in Full

Best International Health Insurance for Expat Families in Singapore: MSIG Platinum

Consider this if you are a foreigner looking for coverage for your family and ASEAN business trips

Optional Deductible S$2,500-S$30,000
Hospitalisation Accommodation Standard 1-Bedded Private Hospital

MSIG Platinum is one of the best international medical insurance for foreigners with families in Singapore. Its premiums are quite affordable for a top-tier plan, costing around 30-45% below the industry average, while its annual limit of S$1 million is expanded to S$2 million if you are hospitalised while overseas. You will also have S$1,000,000 of coverage for ICU, cancer treatment, day surgery, inpatient psych treatment, accidental dental cover and adult hospital accommodation (for hospitalised children). Additionally, family plans receive a 5% discount in addition to affordable maternity add-ons. In fact, including the maternity option, MSIG ends up around 30% cheaper than its closest competitor Singaporean based competitor FWD.

For expats who just moved to Singapore and are new to navigating ASEAN business trips, MSIG also offers an invaluable medical assistance benefit. It includes emergency medical advice and administrative services for visa, immunisation, vaccination information, retrieval and redirection of lost luggage and replacement of lost travel documents. However, expats who are US or Canadian citizens should note that their coverage will terminate automatically as soon as they return to their respective home country. Also, coverage outside of Singapore is short (90 days), so business travellers who take long-term international assignments should be careful.

BenefitsBenefit LimitIndustry Avg.
Annual LimitS$3,000,000S$1,959,750
Hospitalisation & Surgical BenefitsS$1,000,000-S$2,000,000Paid in Full
Pre-Hospitalisation Coverage (Days)180110
Post-Hospitalisation Coverage (Days)180110
Cancer TreatmentS$1,000,000Paid In Full
Medical EvacuationS$1,000,000S$1,984,643
Emergency DentalS$1,000,000Paid in Full

Cheapest International Health Insurance for Students: FWD International 100k

Consider this if you are a healthy international student on a budget

Optional Deductible S$0-S$10,000
Hospitalisation Accommodation Public Shared/Standard Single

If you are a Singaporean student who is planning on studying abroad, FWD International 100k will be your cheapest option. For students under the age of 18, their parents will have to pay an annual premium of around S$1,500. For students over the age of 18, they will have to purchase the policy on their own for about S$500. Regardless of the scenario, FWD is one of the cheapest student international medical plans in the country. In terms of student-friendly perks, FWD offers 24/7 medical advice, doubling of your annual limit if you made no hospitalisation claims for two years and parental accommodation of up to S$250 per night. Hospital coverage includes payment in full for day-care treatment, surgeries, fees, ICU, reconstructive surgery and diagnostic tests (MRI's, CT, PET, etc.), giving you peace of mind if you end up in a serious accident while abroad.

While FWD's International 100k plan is well suited for students on a budget, you may not receive enough coverage if you suffer from unique medical conditions or life situations. For instance, those who want psychiatric benefits, AIDS/HIV coverage or maternity-related benefits will have to opt for a higher coverage plan, which can cost around S$200 extra.

BenefitsBenefit LimitIndustry Avg.
Annual LimitS$100,000S$1,959,750
Hospitalisation & Surgical BenefitsS$100,000Paid in Full
Pre-Hospitalisation Coverage (Days)90110
Post-Hospitalisation Coverage (Days)90110
Cancer TreatmentPaid in FullPaid In Full
Medical EvacuationPaid in FullS$1,984,643
Emergency DentalPaid in FullPaid in Full

Highest Coverage International Health Insurance: Cigna International Platinum

Consider this if you are looking for maximum protection against serious illnesses

Optional Deductible S$0-S$1,500
Hospitalisation Accommodation Standard Private Single

For seniors or those who simply want to max out their medical coverage, Cigna International Platinum can be a great choice. While the plan costs slightly above average for most ages, it is one of the cheapest top-tier coverage options for Singaporean and expat seniors. Cigna is sure to please those who are willing to pay more for more comprehensive coverage, as it offers an unlimited annual limit and a myriad of 100% coverage ranging from surgery to MRI, CT, PET scans and private hospital room coverage. Its unique benefits include coverage for home-births, treatment for disorders/addiction and congenital conditions as well as certain pre-existing medical conditions (for an additional fee).

In addition to the core benefits, you will also have the options to create one of the most customisable plans on the market. While Cigna offers the standard dental, outpatient and maternity option packages, it also offers a Health and Wellbeing package that offers full coverage for routine physicals, cancer screenings and life management programmes (up to 5 counseling sessions). Lastly, provided your trip to the US is under 3 weeks, you will still receive US coverage even if you didn't opt for a US-inclusive policy. This is a unique benefit as other insurers don't provide extra geographical coverage unless it is paid for.

BenefitsBenefit LimitIndustry Avg.
Annual LimitUnlimitedS$1,959,750
Hospitalisation & Surgical BenefitsPaid in FullPaid in Full
Pre-Hospitalisation Coverage (Days)N/A110
Post-Hospitalisation Coverage (Days)N/A110
Cancer TreatmentPaid in FullPaid In Full
Medical EvacuationPaid in FullS$1,984,643
Emergency DentalPaid in FullPaid in Full

Best International Health Insurance for US Coverage: Now Health WorldCare Essential

Consider this if you are a US citizen living and working in Singapore

Optional Deductible S$1,334-S$20,020
Hospitalisation Accommodation Semi-Private/Standard Single

Now Health's WorldCare Essential plan will benefit US citizens who are currently residing in Singapore and also want coverage for emergency treatment back home. Premiums for the Essential plan are around 10% below the market average and you will have 100% coverage for inpatient psych treatment, parental accommodation, ambulance transportation, cancer, reconstructive surgery, evacuation and repatriation, and pregnancy and childbirth medical conditions (inpatient only). For those looking to get US coverage without paying extra for a worldwide plan that includes the US (in exchange for much higher premiums), you will also receive emergency non-elective surgery benefits up to 30 days in the USA, as well as an option to add USD$1.5 million of elective treatment benefits for inpatient and day-patient treatment.

Since WorldCare Essential is a basic plan,however, it is not recommended for those who need maternity or dental coverage, as these benefits are only available in Now Health's higher coverage plans that cost about 40% more. Additionally, this plan will not benefit Singaporeans living in the United States as coverage for this demographic isn't offered at all. Thus, this plan is the best option for healthy, single US expats who are focused on supplementing their corporate plan's coverage.

BenefitsBenefit LimitIndustry Avg.
Annual LimitS$3,900,000S$1,959,750
Hospitalisation & Surgical BenefitsPaid in FullPaid in Full
Pre-Hospitalisation Coverage (Days)N/A110
Post-Hospitalisation Coverage (Days)N/A110
Cancer TreatmentPaid in FullPaid In Full
Medical EvacuationPaid in FullS$1,984,643
Emergency DentalPaid in FullPaid in Full

When Do You Need International Health Insurance?

Expats in Singapore or Singaporeans abroad can benefit from getting an international health insurance. For instance, foreigners who have settled in Singapore and are insured under their company may not find their current benefits high enough and can thus seek an international health plan to supplement their coverage. Similarly, Singaporeans who tend to travel often and for extended periods of time may benefit from an international health insurance plan as MediShield plans don't offer international coverage and annual travel insurance may not provide enough medical coverage.

To choose the best international health insurance plan, you should weigh different factors like price, benefits and geographical area of coverage.

First, you should keep in mind that the cheapest plan may not always be your best option. While health insurance can be expensive, you should judge the cost of the premium against the cost of healthcare in your country of residence. To get the best fit coverage, you should take into consideration your family's health history, your own potential health risks and any unexpected illnesses and accidents you may incur at your new destination. For instance, if you live in a country with exorbitant hospitalisation costs and you are at risk of serious illnesses, opting for a more expensive plan that provides high levels of coverage for that illness may be more beneficial than saving a couple hundred dollars on your premium.

Second, you should take note of how you'll be covered for if you travel outside of your country of residence. Some insurers may limit medical coverage outside of Singapore or your declared country of residence to a certain number of days.

Lastly, you should consider where you'll need coverage for. Premiums change based on the region of travel/residency and also increase drastically for plans that include US coverage. If you don't intend to travel to the United States, you can save hundreds of dollars by excluding it from your policy.

Comments and Questions