Singapore to Stop Paying Medical Bills for Unvaccinated COVID-19 Patients

Singapore to Stop Paying Medical Bills for Unvaccinated COVID-19 Patients
People ride on a mass rapid transit train in Singapore on November 5, 2021. (Photo: Roslan Rahman / AFP, Getty Images)

The government of Singapore will stop paying the medical bills of those COVID-19 patients who are “unvaccinated by choice,” according to a report from the Strait Times. Singapore previously paid for all COVID-19 treatments for citizens, permanent residents, and long-term visa holders.

Those who are unvaccinated and contract COVID-19 will have to start paying for their own medical treatments on Dec. 8, according to the Times, while those who are partially vaccinated won’t have to pay for covid treatments until Dec. 31 — an effort to give people plenty of time to get fully vaccinated.

Children under the age of 12 are still ineligible for COVID-19 vaccinations in Singapore, which means kids will still receive coronavirus treatments free if they’re unvaccinated. The Singapore Ministry of Health is expected to decide on lowering the age of eligibility to 5 years old soon.

From the Ministry of Health website:

Currently, unvaccinated persons make up a sizeable majority of those who require intensive inpatient care, and disproportionately contribute to the strain on our healthcare resources. Hence, from 8 December 2021, COVID-19 patients who are unvaccinated by choice will be charged for bills at hospitals and Community Treatment Facilities.

Singapore has a relatively high vaccination rate, with 86% of the entire population fully vaccinated, according to the government. And the rate is even higher when you exclude those under 12. Roughly 12% of people in Singapore have also received a booster shot.

Singapore, which has a population of 5.7 million people, reported 2,470 new cases of covid-19 on Monday, along with 14 deaths. The U.S. reported 126,461 new cases on Monday and 1,222 new deaths from the disease.

If you’re still unvaccinated in Singapore, there’s still plenty of time to get the jab. But know that if you continue to go about your life without a COVID-19 vaccination, that’s about to get much more financially risky in the near future — to say nothing of the health risks. Just get the shot. You won’t regret it.