Asia has become one of the most popular destinations for expats to relocate to. Among many other reasons, the constant growth of emerging markets in Asia creates massive business opportunities and new jobs. Many investors and economists speculate and project that the 21st century will be the “Asian Century”. Singapore and Hong Kong are two of the most international and most developed places across Asia. Every year, this attracts thousands of tourists, business travelers, and expats that settle for a longer period of time in Asia. Adequate health insurance will be essential in any scenario. It is recommended for expats to have international health insurance, which offers global flexibility to access healthcare services and continue the insurance policy when moving on.

Expat hubs Singapore and Hong Kong: Most expensive healthcare in Asia

Before moving to either of these places, it should be part of every expat’s homework to research healthcare and health insurance availability. If you have access to the right hospitals and clinics, you will receive very high-quality medical assistance for any health issues that you might develop or experience during your stay there. Especially when it comes to hospital hygiene, many Asian countries are even ahead of Western world standards. However, high-quality healthcare in Asia also comes with a high price. Compared to other Asian countries, Singapore and Hong Kong are two of the most expensive places to become sick or have an accident. Price levels often even match or exceed the healthcare costs in the United States of America.

This is also reflected in the cost of health insurance that allows you to access high-quality healthcare in Singapore and Hong Kong. Expat health insurance in these two places is much more expensive compared to other Asian regions. When you are selecting your health insurance, it is essential to check if there are any restrictions to your choice of doctors and hospitals. Also, make sure that the insurance company has a provider network with hospitals and clinics, which allows for direct billing. This means that medical invoices are directly settled between the medical facility and your insurance company – without the need for upfront payments and a time-consuming reimbursement process.

Comparing expat health insurance prices in Singapore

To give you some guidance on which expat health insurance providers are most popular, what do their plans look like, and what is their pricing, we are illustrating a high-level comparison here:

 

  Cigna Global – Gold Now Health International – Worldcare Advance Opal Insurance – SIP Expat Opal
Area of cover Worldwide (excluding US) Worldwide (excluding US) Worldwide (excluding US)
Annual limit € 1’600’000 € 3’400’000 € 2’000’000
Inpatient Yes Yes Yes
Outpatient Yes Yes Yes
Maternity Yes No Yes
Dental Optional Yes Yes
Optical Optional No Yes
Preventive medicine Optional Optional Yes
International evacuation Yes Yes Yes
Deductible € 0 € 0 € 0
Premium annually € 15’644 € 13’165 € 11’190

Indicated premiums have been calculated based on the following situation: Husband (40 years old), wife (37 years old), child (3 years old), Swiss nationality, Singapore residence (Sourced in April 2021; currency exchange rates applied)

 

The SIP Expat Opal plan offers by far the best benefits for price ratio. On the other side, Cigna and Now Health’s offers can be further modified by including or excluding further insurance modules or adjusting the deductible. To find the most suitable health insurance policy, you should therefore look at the benefits and services of each international health insurance policy in detail.

SIP Expat Opal – A tailor-made health insurance for expats in Asia

Over 10 years ago, Swiss Insurance Partners set up a tailor-made expat health insurance plan to specifically address the challenges of expatriates in Singapore and Hong Kong. This international health insurance allows for significant cost savings compared to otherwise available expat health insurance – on average, premiums are 15% below the standard insurance rates for Singapore and Hong Kong. For families with kids, the SIP Expat Opal offers even more than 20% of savings. It is therefore especially attractive for those who live together with their spouse and one or several children.

Additionally to the very attractive premium, the insurance plan also does not require a full medical declaration. All minor pre-existing conditions are fully covered without premium loadings or policy exclusions. Most insurance companies are very restrictive in accepting new applications from people with even only minor pre-existing conditions. This can disadvantage people for the rest of their life because they need to pay an additional premium to cover these conditions for the rest of their life, or they will need to pay all costs out of their own pocket when an exclusion is applied. This is why it is key for you to select a health insurance plan with a lifetime renewal guarantee and with benefits that also cover your changing need with increasing age.

The SIP Expat Opal covers the following benefits, while any waiting periods are waived – even for dental and maternity benefits:

  • Worldwide private Health Insurance (excluding US), private hospital room
  • 100% cost coverage for inpatient and outpatient treatments
  • 100% for maternity with no waiting period
  • 100% dental and vision coverage
  • Medical evacuation
  • Private third-party liability

 

Please contact us to receive the full table of benefits and a quotation. We will be happy to consult you on the most recommended health insurance plans or compare the SIP Expat Opal to your existing policy for optimization purposes.