Medical Insurance Requirements for Foreign Workers in Singapore

August 3, 2016 Asia 3089 Views
Medical Insurance Requirements for Foreign Workers in Singapore

From 1st January 2010, the Ministry of Manpower made it compulsory for employers to bear the responsibility of providing medical treatment to their foreign workers whenever they are in need of it during their stay in Singapore. This was after the Ministry of Health withdrew health support for foreign residents. Employers are now required to purchase and maintain a foreign worker medical insurance for each foreign worker that they employ.


Type of workers that need this plan

According to the announcement by the Ministry of Manpower, this medical insurance applies to any new or existing foreign worker who is on Work Permit or S Pass. Employers are also required to get this insurance when they apply for or renew each of their foreign employee’s work permits. A work permit cannot be approved without an up-to-date foreign worker medical insurance.


The amount of insurance coverage

An employer purchases a minimum annual insurance coverage of $15,000 for each of his foreign workers. This basic level is set to keep premiums affordable. The employer can buy insurance coverage above $15,000 if he so wishes. The insurance basically covers for medical expenses of the holder’s in-patient care and day surgery. It includes expenses for hospital bills for conditions not related to their work.


Co-payment arrangements

Some companies may have co-payment arrangements with their S Pass and Work Permit holders for medical treatment. Such arrangements must be on the employment contract and must be undertaken with the consent of the worker. The amount paid by the holder must not exceed 10% of his salary. Co-payment arrangements only aim at encouraging workers responsibility for available healthcare usage but not to help the employer pay for the medical insurance.

It should be noted carefully that the employer cannot pass on the cost of purchasing the medical insurance cover to the Work Permit or S Pass holder. Any employer who fails to purchase the cover contravenes the Conditions of Work Permits and can pay a fine not exceeding $5,000 or be imprisoned for a period not more than 6 months, or both.

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