To better protect employers against unexpected heavy medical bills incurred by their migrant workers, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will strengthen compulsory medical insurance (MI) coverage for work permit holders ( including migrant domestic workers) and S Pass. . The new requirements will come into effect by the end of 2022 and will apply to all new work permit and S Pass applications and renewals. More details will be shared in due course.
2 MI Enhanced Coverage will include the following features:
- Introduction of a co-payment element for employers and insurers for amounts over $15,000, up to an annual claim limit of at least $60,000. Employers will continue to be fully insured (first-dollar coverage) for the medical expenses of their work permit and S-pass holders up to $15,000. While this provides protection for the bulk of workers’ medical bills, an average of more than 1,000 employers1 per year who face bills over $15,000. With higher coverage, insurers will also pay 75% for amounts over $15,000, up to an annual claim limit of at least $60,000. The increased annual claim limit will cover more than 99% of hospitalization and day surgery bills for work permit and S Pass holders. To see Annex A for some illustrations.
- Standardization of authorized exclusion clauses. This provides employers and workers with greater clarity about their coverage and the types of claims they are entitled to. The list of authorized exclusions can be found in Annex B.
- Introduction of premiums differentiated according to age. Insurers selling MI products will have to offer differentiated premiums for under-50s and over-50s. This is to keep premiums affordable as the vast majority of our migrant workforce is aged 50 and under.
- Obligation for insurers to reimburse hospitals directly as soon as the claim is admissible. Employers will not need to prepay their workers’ hospital bills before claiming reimbursement from their insurers. This will help free up cash for households and businesses, especially for employers who may be cash-strapped.
3 With improved MI coverage, employers will be better supported in managing the financial risks associated with larger medical bills. Upgrades have also been carefully calibrated to balance the durability of coverage against the cost of longer-term premiums. Since many insurers have expressed interest in offering MI products with enhanced coverage, we expect MI premiums to be competitively priced. MOM will monitor the insurance premium to ensure it remains affordable for employers and will work in partnership with insurance associations to ensure smooth implementation of the improved MI model.
4 In his address to the 2022 Supply Debate Committee, Dr Koh Poh Koon, Minister of State for Manpower, thanked the employers, industry associations and non-governmental organizations who expressed their support to the enhanced medical insurance plan during MOM’s engagement with them.
5 Mr. Sim Gim Guan, Executive Director of the Singapore National Federation of Employers (SNEF), said: “Improved mandatory medical insurance will help employers manage cases where they face large medical expenses. . With a larger risk pool, the increase in insurance premium, with higher coverage, will be mitigated.
6 Mr. Alan Tan, Vice President (International Relations) of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME) added: “The improvements to medical insurance for work permit and S passport holders are a improving the primary health care ecosystem for foreign workers. It helps ease the burden of exorbitant medical bills for employers. For foreign workers, health care would be more accessible and affordable.
7 In addition, Mr. Ho Kai Weng, Chief Executive Officer of the General Insurance Association of Singapore (GIA), said: “The increased protection will help protect more employers of migrant workers against large medical bills and reduce instances where they raise funds in other ways. like crowdfunding. GIA will work with MOM and our members to implement the new policy and have suitable products ready before the end of 2022.”
Enhanced Medical Insurance Coverage for Work Permit and S-Pass Schedule A Holders
Enhanced Medical Insurance Coverage for Schedule B Work Permit and S Pass Holders