If I Get COVID-19, What Will I Need To Pay?

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As we gradually open up in Phase 2, the risk of COVID-19 still remains. What happens if you really do get tested positive for COVID-19? Here’s a look at what the government and insurance companies are covering.

COVID-19 has brought about a ‘new norm’ all across the world. Overseas travel came to a grinding halt in March and does not look to be possible in 2020. The Singapore government has recently announced plans to give out $320 million in tourism vouchers (called SingapoRediscovers Vouchers) for locals to spend domestically and boost the tourism sector.

We previously looked at whether your travel insurance will cover COVID-19 and also shared 10 things you can do with your existing travel fund, now that you won’t be travelling for the foreseeable future. Beyond travel, COVID-19 has also disrupted our day-to-day lives, with Singaporeans getting accustomed to working from home. We no longer leave our homes without a mask and adhere to the numerous social distancing guidelines that have been enforced by the government.

While the number of COVID-19 cases in Singapore have been on the decline over the past few weeks, we cannot let our guard down just yet, especially with countries such as South Korea and New Zealand reporting a re-emergence of the virus. As COVID-19 can be fatal and potentially lead to long-term implications, it’s not surprising that many of us are worried about our own well-being and that of our loved ones. And so, we take a look at what the Singapore government will compensate you for as well as the additional COVID-19 coverage being provided by insurance companies. 

What the government is paying for

Back in February, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced that the Singapore Government is paying for hospital bills incurred by COVID-19 patients in public hospitals. However, since 7 March 2020, this was changed to only apply to Singapore citizens, Singapore residents and long term pass holders. 

On 24 March 2020, the government also announced that Singaporeans, Singapore residents and long term pass holders who leave Singapore from March 27 2020 will be charged unsubsidised rates at public hospitals, if they are admitted as suspected COVID-19 patients within 14 days of returning. These people will also not be able to claim from their MediShield Life or Integrated Shield Plans for these treatments at both public and private hospitals.

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Costs to keep in mind if you are a Singaporean, Singapore Resident, long term pass holder

1. Testing fees 

The Singapore government has thus far been bearing the costs of the majority of COVID-19 tests, with the exception of those who left Singapore from 27 March 2020. The cost of each testing kit is about $260 to $270. However, from 17 June 2020, all inbound and outbound travellers will be required to pay for their COVID-19 tests. 

Singaporeans and PRs who had left Singapore before the prevailing travel advisory was issued on 27 March 2020, and who may be returning will be allowed a grace period, with the cost of the COVID-19 tests waived if they return and enter Singapore by 31 August 2020.

2. Hospital fees 

All patients suspected of having COVID-19 must be admitted to hospitals for isolation and management to prevent community transmission. Patients have been conveyed to visit hospitals around Singapore such as the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH) and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH). 

The Singapore government will pay for hospital bills in full for Singapore Residents and long term pass holders who are admitted to public hospitals for COVID-19. You will not need to foot your hospitalisation bill. However, this coverage does not extend to outpatient treatment.

If, however, you breach travel advisories and choose to leave Singapore from 27 March 2020 and get admitted as a suspected COVID-19 patient within 14 days of returning, you will have to pay the full hospital charges yourself.

As of 7 August 2020, some travellers leaving Singapore will be able to tap on regular healthcare financing (government subsidies, MediShield Life and integrated shield plans) for their inpatient medical bills, should they have COVID-19 symptoms within 14 days of their return. These travellers refer to Singaporeans, PRs and long-term pass holders who are travelling abroad under permitted travel arrangements, such as bilateral travel arrangements with Malaysia and China.

3. Cost of 14-day Stay-Home-Notice (SHN) at SHN facilities

From 9 April 2020, all travellers returning to Singapore from overseas will have to serve their 14-day SHN at dedicated facilities instead of their homes. All returnees who disregard prevailing travel advisories and left Singapore from 27 March 2020, will have to bear the full cost of their 14-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities themselves.

Prevailing charges:

Source: Gov.sg

If you are a foreigner in Singapore 

1. Testing fees

The Singapore government has thus far been bearing the costs of the majority of COVID-19 tests as part of Singapore’s public health measures to identify and initiate contact tracing for confirmed cases who may have been infectious while in Singapore.

However, from 17 June 2020, all inbound and outbound travellers will be required to pay for their COVID-19 tests. 

2. Hospital fees

From 7 March 2020, foreigners who are short-term visit pass holders (STVP) who seek treatment for COVID-19 in Singapore will need to pay for the cost of their treatment and hospital stay. This announcement came after a spike in the number of cases in Singapore that were imported from other countries. 

Short-term pass holders entering Singapore under permitted travel arrangements will remain responsible for their medical bills should they test positive for COVID-19.

3. Cost of 14-day Stay-Home-Notice (SHN) at SHN facilities

From 17 June 2020, all incoming travellers who are not Singapore Citizens or PRs will be required to pay for their stay at dedicated SHN facilities.

Prevailing charges:

Source: Gov.sg

Malaysia citizens and permanent residents with Singapore work passes that are eligible to enter Singapore under the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) must serve a SHN of at least seven days and take a COVID-19 swab test.

Update on SHN outside of SHN facilities

If you are travelling from specific countries/regions, you can opt not to serve Stay-Home Notice only at SHN facilities.

Source: gov.sg

If you’re looking for added protection against COVID-19, the FWD Personal Accident and Infectious Disease Coverage offered exclusively on SingSaver provides coverage against accidents and COVID-19 at less than $0.30/day.

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Government vs COVID insurance coverage

While the Singapore government does provide some coverage for COVID-19 patients in terms of testing fees and medical bills, insurance plans can go one step further and beef up your protection needs.

Here’s a look at what insurance plans can offer when it comes to coverage for contacting COVID-19.

Government Coverage
Insurance plans that cover COVID-19
Testing fee
COVID-19 outpatient & inpatient medical expenses 
COVID-19 Death & TPD coverage
Coverage for other infectious diseases (i.e. Dengue fever, Zika, Hand, Food and Mouth Disease)
Daily hospital cash
Worldwide coverage

Besides paying for the testing fee as well as the hospital bills of Singaporeans, Singapore Residents and long-term pass holders, the Singapore government has also put in place other efforts to help citizens tide through this difficult period. 

During Budget 2020, an initial $800 million COVID-19 package was announced to help Singapore tide through the coronavirus outbreak. This government support has since been expanded, with close to $100 billion set aside through the Resilience and Solidarity Budget and further support measures for SMEs through the Fortitude Budget.

Why you need actual insurance cover for COVID-19 

Insurance companies have stepped in with free COVID-19 coverage that will be extended to all their eligible customers. They go beyond the government’s efforts to include in/outpatient medical expenses, hospital cash and more.

If you are facing financial difficulties because of COVID-19, here’s how you can defer your insurance premium payment. If you have insurance plans with these insurance companies in Singapore, here’s a summary of the additional coverage being provided in the unfortunate event that you contract COVID-19. 

Insurance Companies Providing Free COVID-19 Coverage
Insurance ProviderCoverageEligibilityValidity

$1,000 (lump-sum) Hospitalisation income 
$25,000 Death benefit
Singapore Resident* with a valid NRIC/FIN. Must have an inforce Life Insurance or Accident & Health Insurance policy that has been issued on or before 31 July 2020.Up till 31 December 2020 or 30 days after the DORSCON level has officially stepped down to green (whichever is earlier)

$200 per day Hospital Income Benefit (Up to 90 days)

$20,000 Death Benefit 

$100/ day quarantine allowance (applicable for Home Insurance)
Individual Life and General Insurance customers: Life, Shield, Motor, Travel, Home, Personal Accident, Domestic Helper, and Individual Health Policyholders and Life Assureds with an in-force policyMotor Policy(ies) with AXAFrom 1 February 2020 to 30 September 2020; after DORSCON level has officially stepped down to green; or when AXA’s COVID-19 Care Package fund of S$500,000 has been fully utilised (whichever is earlier).

$100 per day Hospitalisation Benefit (for stable condition, capped at $1,000)

$200 per day Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Benefit (capped at $1,000) 

$50,000 Death Benefit
Must have an inforce life protection or insurance savings plans with Etiqa
Great Eastern

$200 per day Hospital Income Benefit (Up to 60 days)

$20,000 Death Benefit 

Must have a Life or Accident and Health (“A&H”) policy, including Dependants’ Protection Scheme (“DPS”) and ElderShield scheme issued by GELS; or the policyholder of all in-forced Personal Lines insurance policies under Great Eastern General Insurance Limited, except for single or one-way travel policies.From 14 February 2020 to 31 December 2020; or the date when an aggregate of S$1 million has been paid out from the Great Eastern COVID-19 Customer Care Fund (whichever is earlier).
HSBC Insurance $200 per day for hospitalisation (up to 45 days)
$1,000 lump sum upon diagnosis

$10,000 Death Benefit
Must have an insurance policy issued by HSBC Life.
From 7 February 2020 to 30 June 2020

$1,500 payout upon diagnosis of COVID-19  

$2,000 additional payout for hospitalization of 5 days or more for confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19

$30,000 Death Benefit
All existing individual inforce/new policyholders and individual life customers of Manulife. 17 February 2020 until 1 Jun 2020
NTUC Income$100 per day for hospitalisation (up to 30 days)

$10,000 Death Benefit
Individuals insured by Income’s Personal Accident (PA) plans with infectious disease cover.From 17 February 2020 until 31 August 2020.

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Full details of COVID-19 support by insurance companies

AIA: Free Additional Insurance Cover Against COVID-19

AIA is providing existing customers with free additional insurance cover against COVID-19. All eligible customers will automatically benefit from this free additional insurance cover with immediate effect with no action or additional purchase required.

These guaranteed benefits can be received up till 31 December 2020 or 30 days after the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level has officially stepped down to green – whichever is earlier.

Full details here.

AXA: COVID-19 Care Package

AXA has introduced their COVID-19 Protection Campaign, providing complimentary coverage against COVID-19 for their customers. Healthcare frontliners fighting the pandemic will receive doubled protection.

Here’s the protection being provided to customers, as well as the doubled protection for healthcare frontliners. 

Full details here.

If you have an existing Home Insurance with AXA, you can also enjoy quarantine allowance of $100 per day. AXA currently has an ongoing promotion with SingSaver that rewards you with $8 PayNow and 40% discount (from now until 31 May 2020) when you apply for the AXA SmartHome Insurance.

Etiqa: Financial Assistance Benefit  

Etiqa Insurance Singapore has introduced Financial Assistance Benefit to those insured with their life insurance policies in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. You will be eligible for this benefit if you have an existing life protection and insurance savings plans with Etiqa.

This applies to both private and public hospitals in and outside Singapore as long as the hospital is able to provide proof of hospitalisation due to COVID-19.

Full details here

Great Eastern: Customer Care Fund 

Great Eastern launched a $1 million customer care fund to help any policyholders and their immediate families who are hospitalised due to COVID-19. The benefits of the Customer Care Fund are: 

Full details here.

HSBC Insurance: Complimentary special benefits for Novel Coronavirus

You and your family members will receive the following Complimentary Special Benefits with cover guaranteed for a full year, if you have an insurance policy with HSBC Life.

This campaign is valid from 7 February 2020 to 30 June 2020.

Full details here

Manulife: COVID-19 support fund

Manulife set up a $1 million COVID-19 support fund to provide additional protection coverage to customers in Singapore, at no added cost. All Customers of Manulife Singapore who contracted COVID-19 and/or died due to COVID-19 infection are eligible for these benefits:

This is effective from 17 February 2020 until 1 June 2020 for all existing individual inforce/new policyholders and individual life insureds of Manulife. 

Full details here.

NTUC Income: COVID-19 protection

From 17 February 2020, if you hold either of 2 Income PA plans, PA Assurance with Infectious Disease cover and Personal Accident Infectious Disease policy, you will enjoy extended COVID-19 coverage. More specifically, customers will receive: 

  • Cash pay-out of $100 per day of hospitalisation in Singapore due to COVID-19 (for up to 30 days) 
  • One-time pay-out of $10,000 if the insured person were to pass away due to COVID-19 

Also, Income’s Group Employee Benefits policies now cover COVID-19. From now till 31 May 2020, employees of organisations insured by Income’s Group Employee Benefits policies will be offered a cash pay-out of $100 per day of hospitalisation in Singapore (up to 30 days), and a pay-out of $20,000 in the unfortunate event of death due to the new coronavirus.

Full details here

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[New] SingSaver Exclusive: FWD Personal Accident and Infectious Disease Coverage

SingSaver has partnered FWD Singapore to offer an exclusive plan that boasts both personal accident and the widest suite of infectious disease coverage (including COVID-19), for an annual premium of $98. It’s the first on the market to cover accidents and 24 infectious diseases at such value.

Here’s what the FWD Personal Accident and Infectious Disease Coverage provides in terms of COVID-19 coverage:

Here are all the details you need to know about the FWD Personal Accident and Infectious Disease Coverage offered on SingSaver.

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Feel free to reach out to SingSaver Insurance Brokers Pte. Ltd. at insurance_enquiry@singsaver.com.sg or call +65 31382648 if you have any enquiries on coverage related to personal accident plans.

Read These Next: 
[NEW] FWD Personal Accident and Infectious Disease Coverage Review (2020)
Dengue Alert: 4 Affordable Insurance Plans To Get Yourself Protected
Infectious Diseases Insurance (COVID-19, Dengue and Zika): Best Plans to Protect Yourself
5 Types Of Insurance You Can Get For Free In Singapore
Deferring Insurance Premium Payment During COVID-19: A Complete Guide

By Ching Sue Mae
A flat white, an adventure-filled travel and a good workout is her fuel. This Manchester United fan enjoys sharing knowledge on personal finance while chasing the dream of financial independence.