Expat Maternity in Singapore

Addressing the costs of having a baby

Expat Maternity in Singapore

You’ll have realised that relocating to a new country such as Singapore can take a lot of organisation and time and you may not have thought about what might need to be arranged for the future. It is important to know, that if you want to start or add to your family in Singapore, there are lots of things to consider before doing so. Planning ahead is essential in order to make sure you and your child are covered during and post birth.

Expat maternity and the Singapore healthcare system

In order to use Singapore’s public healthcare system, people moving to the country will need to first obtain Permanent Resident (PR) status. Those without PR status will find that they are not subsidized for public hospital care, and many prefer to seek treatment from the city’s private hospitals. As such, expats should expect to pay more for maternity care than Singaporean citizens.

Beside that fact that nationalized MediSave insurance and related savings plans can lower maternity costs significantly; the cost of medical care throughout a pregnancy will end up being a great deal higher in private medical facilities in general. In the event that a relatively new expat to Singapore gets pregnant and gives birth locally without maternity insurance, they will be left to pay for this cost out of pocket.

The real costs of giving birth in Singapore

Most of the hospitals in Singapore have ‘maternity packages’ available, so pregnant women will have the opportunity to know upfront exactly what the cost will be for pregnancy, labor and delivery (assuming there are no complications). These packages will also lay out exactly when and how many pre-natal exams, tests, etc. will take place in the months leading up to birth.

Let’s have a look at the difference in the prices you could expect to pay for having your baby delivered at public and private hospitals in Singapore. (Prices listed are provided by the Singapore Ministry of Health ,  and for public Ward A rooms and private single bed rooms in SGD):

Public Hospitals

KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital

 4,475 – 5,943

National University Hospital

 4,253 – 5,680

Singapore General Hospital

 3,813 – 5,689

Private Hospitals

Gleneagles Hospital

    8,697 – 11,849

Mount Alvernia Hospital

      6,905 – 9,130

Mount Elizabeth Hospital

    8,841 – 11,963

Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital

    8,298 – 10,580

Parkway East Hospital

      6,218 – 7,937

Raffles Hospital

    7,831 – 10,663

Thomson Medical Centre

      6,093 – 8,326

As can be seen above, the price range for delivery in a public hospital is $3,813 – 5,943, while the range for private hospital delivery is $6,093 – 11,963, and the average costs between public and private hospitals are $4,976 and $8,810, respectively. Of course, there will be costs to consider besides the price of delivery, which will only make the difference greater in the end, but this example gives a good indication of how the two types of facilities differ.

Finally, it should be noted that complications during delivery can be life threatening and require emergency medical care to resolve. This can raise medical costs exponentially beyond what would be expected for a normal delivery.

Do you need maternity insurance?

Maternity insurance will be needed by some people in Singapore more than others. This is especially true for expatriates in the city-state, as Singaporean nationals will have access to the nation’s MediSave program and public healthcare system, while expatriates may not.

Because of this, expatriate moms and dads to be should take care to examine the option of obtaining maternity insurance before they conceive a child. Planning ahead is of the utmost importance, because policies generally come with lengthy waiting periods, frequently lasting for a year or more. For example, if a maternity insurance policy has a yearlong waiting period, this means that a year must pass following the official start of the policy before the policyholder can make a claim against it. So, if you were to become pregnant just a month after buying maternity insurance, it is highly unlikely that the policy would cover the costs related to labor and delivery, let alone pre-natal care.

If you think that you may need maternity insurance, insurance brokers such as Pacific Prime Singapore  can help by offering you a detailed comparison of different plans that are aligned with your needs. Maternity insurance can no doubt be of great value to expats in Singapore to ensure you have the peace of mind that you are covered.

Further reading

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