What are the Different Healthcare Financing Schemes in Singapore?

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Singapore’s healthcare system is globally renowned for its efficiency and accessibility. A key component of this system is its robust healthcare financing framework, designed to ensure that all residents have access to necessary medical care without facing financial hardship. 

This article explores the various healthcare financing schemes in Singapore, focusing on their benefits and how they work together to provide comprehensive coverage.

Medisave: Your Personal Medical Savings Account

Medisave is a national medical savings scheme that allows Singaporeans and Permanent Residents to set aside a portion of their income into a personal Medisave account. These funds can be used to pay for hospitalization expenses, certain outpatient treatments, and specific chronic diseases.

How Does Medisave Work?

Contributions to Medisave are mandatory and automatically deducted from an individual’s monthly Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions. The funds accumulated in a Medisave account can be used for:

  • Hospitalization expenses
  • Day surgeries
  • Approved outpatient treatments
  • Certain vaccinations and screenings

Medisave provides a financial buffer for individuals, ensuring they have funds readily available for medical expenses without needing to rely solely on out-of-pocket payments.

MediShield Life: Comprehensive Insurance for All

MediShield Life is a basic health insurance plan designed to help Singaporeans and Permanent Residents pay for large hospital bills and selected costly outpatient treatments. It offers lifetime coverage, ensuring that everyone, regardless of age or health condition, is protected.

Key Features of MediShield Life

  • Lifetime Coverage: Unlike its predecessor MediShield, MediShield Life covers individuals for life.
  • High Claim Limits: It offers high annual claim limits to cover substantial medical expenses.
  • Subsidies: Premium subsidies are available for lower- to middle-income individuals and the elderly, making the scheme more affordable.

MediShield Life acts as a safety net, providing peace of mind and financial protection against the high costs of significant medical treatments.

MediFund: Assistance for Those in Need

MediFund is an endowment fund set up by the Singapore government to help Singaporeans who are unable to pay their medical bills despite Medisave and MediShield Life coverage. It acts as a financial safety net for those who face difficulties with healthcare costs.

How Does MediFund Work?

To apply for MediFund assistance, patients need to undergo a means test, which assesses their financial situation. If deemed eligible, MediFund can cover all or part of their medical bills, ensuring that no Singaporean is denied basic healthcare due to financial constraints.

The Pioneer Generation Package

What is the Pioneer Generation Package?

The Pioneer Generation Package is a special initiative to honor and support Singapore’s Pioneer Generation, those who contributed to the nation’s development in its early years. This package provides additional healthcare benefits to seniors born on or before 31 December 1949 who became citizens before 1987.

Benefits of the Pioneer Generation Package

  • Outpatient Care Subsidies: Enhanced subsidies for outpatient care at polyclinics and Specialist Outpatient Clinics (SOCs).
  • CHAS Subsidies: Higher subsidies for treatment at Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS)-accredited clinics.
  • MediShield Life Premium Subsidies: Additional subsidies to help with MediShield Life premiums.
  • Medisave Top-Ups: Annual Medisave top-ups to help with various medical expenses.

The Pioneer Generation Package ensures that seniors receive the care they need without the burden of high medical costs.

Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS)

CHAS is a programme that provides Singaporeans from lower- to middle-income households with access to affordable medical and dental care at participating clinics.

Benefits of CHAS

  • CHAS Subsidies: Subsidies for medical and dental care at CHAS-accredited clinics, making healthcare more accessible and affordable.
  • Enhanced Subsidies: For the elderly and those with chronic conditions, CHAS provides enhanced subsidies to ensure continuous and comprehensive care.

CHAS helps bridge the gap for individuals who may not have sufficient Medisave or MediShield Life coverage, ensuring that they receive necessary primary care services.

Integrated Shield Plans: Enhanced Coverage

What are Integrated Shield Plans?

Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) are additional private insurance plans that complement MediShield Life. They offer higher coverage limits and additional benefits, such as coverage for private hospital care and a wider range of treatments.

Benefits of Integrated Shield Plans

  • Enhanced Hospital Coverage: Higher claim limits and coverage for private hospital stays.
  • Additional Benefits: Coverage for pre- and post-hospitalisation treatments and overseas medical expenses.

IPs provide an extra layer of financial protection, ensuring that individuals can access higher-quality healthcare services without incurring significant out-of-pocket expenses.


Singapore’s healthcare financing system is a comprehensive framework designed to ensure that all residents have access to quality healthcare without facing financial hardship. From Medisave and MediShield Life to CHAS subsidies and the Pioneer Generation Package, these schemes work together to provide a robust safety net for individuals at different stages of life and with varying financial needs.

Take Action for Comprehensive Healthcare Coverage

Your health is your most valuable asset, and understanding the available healthcare financing schemes is crucial for making informed decisions. At Keystone Clinic & Surgery, we are committed to providing you with the best medical care and guidance. 

Schedule an appointment with us today to learn more about how we can help you navigate Singapore’s healthcare system and ensure you receive the comprehensive care you deserve. Take control of your health with Keystone Clinic & Surgery!


CHAS.sg. CHAS Subsidies. https://www.chas.sg/chas-subsidies

Moh.gov.sg. Community Health Assist Scheme. https://www.moh.gov.sg/healthcare-schemes-subsidies/community-health-assist-scheme

Nlb.gov.sg. Medisave. https://www.nlb.gov.sg/main/article-detail?cmsuuid=fb218ea4-66d2-45c5-99db-75c542f49c16

Commonwealthfund.org. International Health Care System Profiles. https://www.commonwealthfund.org/international-health-policy-center/countries/singapore

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