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25 Oct 2023


1. Avoid overspending on insurance


To decide on what insurance you need, make a list of potential risks or events that you are concerned with. Assess the likelihood of the events happening and the financial impact on you and your loved ones. Spend no more than 15% of your salary on insurance protection*. As a rule of thumb, Death and Total Permanent Disability coverage should be about nine times of your annual income.


*Purchase of bundled products (e.g. Whole Life Insurance) may exceed 15% of income as they contain both investment and protection elements.


2. Take into account coverage from national insurance schemes 


Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents (PRs) are automatically covered under MediShield Life. It helps you pay for large hospital bills, outpatient treatment, and costs incurred in palliative care services.


Another national insurance scheme is CareShield Life, which provides payouts for long-term caregiving costs for severe disabilities. CareShield Life is compulsory for all Singapore Citizens and PRs born in 1980 or later, and is open for eligible Singaporeans and PRs born in 1979 or earlier to join as long as they do not have severe disabilities.


Together, these national insurance schemes help provide a basic financial safety net against adverse health events.


3. Consider the long-term affordability of insurance plans


Private insurers offer Integrated Shield Plans (IPs)* which provide additional coverage on top of MediShield Life to help with your out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. When considering IPs, evaluate your specific needs and be mindful of the long-term costs that increase significantly with age.


You can use MediSave to pay for IP premiums up to the Additional Withdrawal Limits (AWLs). For premiums above the AWLs, you will need to top up the differences in cash. You need to consider if you can afford the premiums in the long run, especially at older ages when you have stopped working.


*IP policyholders are also not eligible for Additional Premium Support (APS), which is a form of financial assistance for MediShield Life/CareShield Life premiums. If you are currently receiving APS to pay for your MediShield Life and/or CareShield Life premiums, you will stop receiving APS if you choose to be insured under an IP. This applies even if you are not the person paying for the IP.


4. Regularly review your insurance portfolio


Review your insurance coverage at least once every two years, or whenever a life milestone occurs. Events like marriage, property purchase, or a loss of a dependant, can have a considerable impact on your financial situation. Ensure your insurance coverage aligns with your evolving needs.


5. Manage your healthcare expenses with MediSave


Apart from ensuring you and your loved ones are sufficiently covered under private insurances, remember you can count on MediSave for healthcare expenses too. MediSave is a national medical savings scheme that helps you set aside a part of your income for healthcare expenses. You can use your MediSave for yourself or your family members. This includes your spouse, children, parents, grandparents, or siblings.



Regularly reviewing your health insurance coverage can give you and your loved ones the peace of mind that you need during unexpected health scares. Take the step in staying informed about your health insurance coverage today, so you can live well into a meaningful retirement!


The information provided in this article is accurate as of the date of publication.