Many of us may be unsure about who pays for COVID-19 costs while living in Singapore, whether it’s tests, quarantine charges, SHN, hospitalisation or aftercare and treatment costs. So what’s covered by the government and what can be covered by insurance policies? The team at UEX Global runs through some FAQs.
Will the government pay for them?
Whether the government covers your COVID-19 test costs, Stay-Home Notice (SHN) facility and treatments depends on when you left the country and your citizenship status in Singapore.
Here are some scenarios that apply to Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents (PRs) and Long-Term Pass Holders (LTP). LTPs include work pass, long-term visit pass, student pass and dependent pass holders.
Currently in Singapore
When in the country, swab tests are paid for if recommended by a GP. If you test positive, the government will pay for your hospitalisation in a public healthcare facility. This excludes outpatient treatment, which you can cover using private health insurance.
Left Singapore before 27 March 2020
If you’re admitted for COVID-19, your hospital bill will be paid in full (at a public facility). Once again, this excludes outpatient treatments.
As for your stay at a SHN facility (if applicable), it’ll be covered but you’ll need to pay for your post-SHN swab (Singapore Citizens and PRs). LTPs will need to pay for both the SHN facility stay and post-SHN swab.
Travelled after 27 March 2020
If you go against travel advisories then you’ll need to settle your own bills. Upon arrival, you’ll pay for your swabs and SHN facility (if applicable). If you get admitted for COVID-19 within 14 days of returning from overseas, you’ll need to pay your own hospital bills too. Singapore Citizens and PRs will also not be able to claim government subsidies or use MediShield for COVID-19 treatment.
Approved travel after 7 August 2020
If you went on an essential business or official trip that was approved by the government, there are some exceptions. If you’re suspected of having COVID-19 when you return, you can use government subsidies and MediShield. Take note that this applies only for Singapore Citizens and PRs. LTPs will need to rely on personal or company-provided health insurance.
The information above is accurate as of the article’s publication date. For the latest details, head to the ICA website for information about SHN and swab tests and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for travel restrictions.
Where can I get tested?
If you have Covid-related symptoms, you can go to a Public Health Preparedness Clinic (PHPC) or polyclinic. There, a GP will swab you if they offer that service or recommend you to another clinic. They’ll also assess your condition and refer you to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases or the A&E of the nearest public hospital for further review if necessary.
PHPCs provide subsidised treatment, investigations and medication for COVID-19 and subsidies will be provided for Singapore Citizens, PRs and eligible Work Permit Holders who have respiratory infections. You can check out the nearest place to get tested at Flu Go Where.
How much does a COVID-19 test cost in Singapore?
Your test will be free if a GP sends you for one. But if you get tested without a referral, you’ll have to pay around $200. Some private health insurance plans can reimburse this under preventive screening or health checks.
What if I’m outside of Singapore?
Even if you’re a Singapore Citizen or PR, the government will not cover COVID-related costs beyond the country. International health insurance could possibly offer coverage, depending on terms and conditions. With local health insurance, coverage is highly unlikely. And, if you bought a travel insurance plan for your trip, you might not be covered as it’s a known event.
Cover COVID-19 costs with UEX
With UEX, you’ll be able to claim COVID-19 medical expenses such as hospitalisation and outpatient treatment, according to your specific policy coverage. Exclusions do not include pandemics. If you want to take a test as a preventive measure (no symptoms), you can be reimbursed up to the maximum amount stated in your policy.
Their local plans include coverage in your country of residence and also overseas for a maximum of 90 consecutive days at a time. The non-emergency treatments are limited to charges for equivalent treatment at Singapore General Hospital. They do not cover outpatient treatments. Some plans even offer free and unlimited teleconsulting services in 12 languages.
You’ll be able to get a quote for both AXA and APRIL health insurance plans, customised to your needs and requirements.
Written in collaboration with:
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