I still vividly remember a phone call from my friend back in Jan 2023. She was in shock, telling me about her helper’s accident. It had been raining, and her helper slipped and broke her ankle while coming back home with groceries. The medical bills that followed were unexpectedly high, leaving my friend deeply concerned.
Fast forward to April this year, another incident hit close to home. A domestic helper in Singapore faced a sudden medical emergency, needing surgery for a brain aneurysm. To cover the hefty medical expenses, her employers turned to crowdfunding and managed to raise S$160,000.
In a world where uncertainties can strike at any time, having insurance isn’t just a smart choice—it’s a compassionate one. Domestic helpers are indispensable members of many households, and ensuring they have insurance not only offers timely support during tough times but also provides financial security for their employers.
In March 2023, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced changes that require employers of work permit and S Pass holders to provide medical insurance coverage with an annual claim limit of at least S$60,000—an increase from the previous S$15,000 coverage. This is intended to “minimise out-of-pocket expenses by employers, especially considering rising medical costs”.
At present, more than 5% of medical bills incurred exceed the existing S$15,000 coverage limit, which is draining for the employers. With the new announcement, effective from 1 July 2023, MOM estimates that “more than 99% of bills will fall within the new coverage” to give employers more “peace of mind”.
We show you how these changes would affect employers of domestic helpers, what they need to know and the insurance to buy.
MOM’s updates to maid insurance coverage
Think of maid insurance as a safety net that’s got your back. It’s designed to protect both domestic helpers and their employers by covering the costs of medical care.
Some types of maid insurance provide a lump sum payment in the event of the helper’s death or permanent disability, which can be used to help cushion the impact of their income loss for their family back home. Other types of maid insurance can also come to your rescue to cover the costs of legal representation if the helper is involved in a third-party accident.
Under MOM’s enhanced S$60,000 medical insurance coverage, employers must co-pay 25% of claims that exceed S$15,000.
For instance, if your helper’s medical bill for surgery costs S$70,000, the employer co-pays 25% of the remaining bills after the first S$15,000. The rest will be covered by the insurer.
Old medical insurance (S$15,000)
Enhanced medical insurance (S$60,000)
(Source: Ministry of Manpower)
From 1 July 2025, MOM will implement another round of changes, which include:
Standardisation of allowable exclusion clauses: This provides more information on the coverage and types of claims employers and workers are eligible for. View the exclusions here.
Introduction of age-differentiated premiums for those aged 50 and below, and those aged above 50: Insurers need to offer different premiums according to age.
Requirement for insurers to reimburse hospitals directly upon the admissibility of the claim: Employers will not need to pay for their workers’ medical bills upfront and can claim from the insurance agency later.
As employers of domestic helpers in Singapore are required to have maid insurance, it’s imperative that you choose a policy that offers the right level of coverage for your needs.
FWD Maid insurance provides at least S$60,000 in coverage
The medical insurance you get for your helpers needs to include coverage for inpatient care and day surgery, including hospital bills for conditions that may not be work-related.
One product that offers this coverage is FWD Maid insurance.
In line with MOM’s requirements, FWD Singapore has enhanced their maid insurance coverage as well, offering added security for those who employ helpers. More than just extra protection to safeguard employers, you also gain added benefits and of course, peace of mind.
Enhanced limits with the option to increase coverage
FWD Singapore has enhanced their maid insurance with coverage for hospitalisation and surgical expenses up to S$60,000. There’s also the option to increase the limit to S$120,000 should you wish to do so.
Coverage for outpatient medical expenses
FWD Maid insurance offers cashless outpatient option and covers outpatient costs such as consultation, medicine and diagnostic tests. FWD Singapore will pay up to S$30 per visit at FWD Singapore’s network clinics, while you pay just S$10, if your helper needs outpatient treatment.
This applies only if you get the Enhanced and Exclusive plans but if you decide to go with the Essential plan first, you’ll be able to purchase this option as an add-on.
Waiver of co-payment
Under the FWD Maid insurance Exclusive plan, you won’t have to make any out-of-pocket payment, up to the benefit limit, if your helper becomes hospitalised or must go through surgeries. FWD Singapore will reimburse the hospital on the employer’s behalf for the necessary hospitalisation and surgical expenses incurred to treat an illness or any injury your helper suffers due to an accident. View the FWD Maid insurance policy wording.
Daily hospital allowance
In case of hospitalisation, FWD Maid insurance covers up to S$30 per day for a maximum of 30 days if your helper is under the Enhanced or Exclusive plan.
No payment for security bond needed
In the event that your helper breaks the law or Work Permit conditions, FWD is the only insurer in Singapore that directly pays the mandatory security bond for your helper, up to S$5,000, without any additional payment required from you.
In the event you need to replace your helper, FWD Singapore also offers a 100% refund to cancel your policy within the first 3 months, although we hope that that won’t be the case!
The prices shown below are applicable for a 26-month policy, for helpers 50 years old and below. The applied discount is based on the September 2023 discount rate.
Securing maid insurance isn’t just a run-of-the-mill chore; it’s actually a pretty savvy move that benefits both you and your helper. Think of it as a safety net, not just for their well-being but for those unexpected medical bills that life might throw at you.
Looking for a new insurance to protect you and your helper? Check out FWD Maid insurance.
Add-on for Covid-19 & Repatriation cost available
Maid Insurance Essential
Enjoy 15% off any FWD Maid Insurance plans!
Valid until 11 Oct 2023
Covers pre-existing conditions at no extra cost when helper has been in Singapore for more than 12 months
Save 10% on six monthly medical examination
Cashless Outpatient medical expenses
New: Complement your existing maid insurance from any insurer with independent add-ons such as Performance bond for Philippine Embassy
Additional Rider Available: A cover of $15,000 in hospitalisation costs for all maids returning or entering Singapore if diagnosed with COVID-19 during the period of insurance. This amount is beyond MOM’s requirement of $10,000 coverage within 14 days of arrival in Singapore.
FWD provide coverage up to S$10,000 for COVID-19 repatriation expenses
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This post was written in collaboration with FWD. While we are financially compensated by them, we nonetheless strive to maintain our editorial integrity and review products with the same objective lens. We are committed to providing the best information in order for you to make personal financial decisions with confidence. You can view our Editorial Guidelines here.
The post S$60,000 Coverage, Cashless GP Visits, Daily Hospital Allowance—How FWD Maid Insurance Can Safeguard Your Helper’s Health appeared first on the MoneySmart blog.
The post S$60,000 Coverage, Cashless GP Visits, Daily Hospital Allowance—How FWD Maid Insurance Can Safeguard Your Helper’s Health appeared first on MoneySmart Blog.
Original article: S$60,000 Coverage, Cashless GP Visits, Daily Hospital Allowance—How FWD Maid Insurance Can Safeguard Your Helper’s Health.
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