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Foreign Worker Medical Insurance protects your foreign employees if they require medical treatment. It's legally required by MOM for all Work Permit and S-Pass holders.
If you wish to hire a foreign worker, you must purchase Foreign Worker Medical Insurance (FWMI) for them. MOM’s application process requires you to submit details of foreign worker insurance you’ve purchased, before any Work Pass can be issued.
At Provide, we offer rapid and affordable Foreign Worker Medical Insurance. Our quick turnaround times mean that you can have your insurance needs easily settled, allowing you to focus on running your business.
What does Foreign Worker Medical Insurance cover?
This type of insurance provides comprehensive cover for:
1. Hospitalisation and Surgery (H&S) fees
2. Pre-hospitalisation specialist consultants
3. Pre-hospitalisation diagnostic scans (X-Rays, MRIs, etc.)
4. Repatriation of body in event of death
5. Post-hospitalisation fees
6. Intensive Care Unit (ICU) fees
7. Lump-sum personal accident benefit in case of severe disability, or death
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) legally requires a minimum of $15,000 in annual coverage, per worker. If your worker becomes hospitalised, you must contact your insurance company to a file a foreign worker insurance claim. You must do this on behalf of your worker. You need to do this within 30 days from the day the worker was admitted into the hospital.
FWMI policies do not cover outpatient treatments, like visits to the GP for the cold/flu. Such coverage, if desired, would have to be purchased under an Employee Health Benefits plan.
Does Foreign Worker Medical Insurance cover Covid-19 infections?
Yes, Foreign Worker Medical Insurance covers Covid-19 costs if your worker ends up hospitalised. This will pay for their room and board, doctor’s consultations, surgery (if needed), ICU costs, and other medical treatment costs.
From 1st January 2021, MOM has ruled that all new S-Pass and Work Permit (WP) holders arriving in Singapore must be covered by the following policies:
1. Foreign Worker Medical Insurance (with at least $15,000 Hospital & Surgery cover)
2. SHN Covid-19 Rider (with at least $10,000 cover)
The SHN Covid-19 rider will cover your foreign workers if they get infected with Covid-19 during their 14 to 21 day SHN period. A standard Foreign Worker Medical Insurance policy excludes Covid-19 treatment costs during the initial 14 to 21 day SHN period.
It’s also good to keep in mind that Covid-19 infections (that are related to work) are covered under WICA Insurance. If you’re concerned about paying for your workers’ Covid-19 costs, you should also purchase WICA Insurance as that will be your first line of insurance defense. Do note that, under WICA regulations, all employers in Singapore are legally liable to compensate workers for work-related Covid-19 infections.
Is Foreign Worker Medical Insurance compulsory?
As long as you wish to hire a Work Permit holder, you must purchase Foreign Worker Medical Insurance. This insurance policy is needed when you wish to submit a Work Permit application to MOM. Without showing proof of insurance, you cannot hire a foreign worker on a Work Permit.
National papers like the Straits Times have reported on MOM taking action against employers who failed to pay their workers’ medical bills. In many of these cases, the employers did not have an active Foreign Worker Medical Insurance policy. After MOM took action against them, the employers paid up. Unless you want to make payments from your own pocket, it’s best to carry insurance coverage so that the insurer will pay, and not you.
How much coverage do I need?
The minimum legal requirement for an FWMI policy is $15,000 coverage for Hospital and Surgery costs. This amount is mandated by MOM. All our Foreign Worker Medical Insurance plans are compliant with Singapore’s legal requirements, giving you complete peace of mind.
When hiring foreigners, what other types of insurance should I have?
For each foreign S-Pass/Work Permit holder that you hire, you’ll need to apply for a Foreign Worker Security Bond. The bond amount must be $5,000. This is required by MOM before you can be issued the Work Permit. This bond is meant to cover legal liabilities incurred by either your foreign worker, or you, should either party potentially default on Work Permit requirements. This bond is only required for Work Permit holders. You don’t have to buy the bond for S-Pass and Employment Pass holders.
Because Work Permits are issued for lower-skilled jobs that typically are manual in nature, you should definitely also carry Work Injury Compensation Insurance. This is legally required by MOM for all workers who perform manual work, or for any worker who earns less than SGD 2,600/month.
What's the difference between Work Injury Compensation Insurance v.s. Foreign Worker Medical Insurance?
Foreign Worker Medical Insurance
Work Injury Compensation Insurance
Legally required for Work Permit holders
Legally required for:
– Any manual worker, or
– Any worker earning <$2,600/month regardless of job scope
Covers non-work-related injuries/sickness
– Hospitalised for chest infection that was contracted outside of work
– Undergo surgery for appendicitis, not related to work
Covers work-related injuries/sickness
– Fractures sustained after a fall at work
– Suffer burns while at work
– Injured by factory equipment while working
Minimum cover amount you must have, per worker: $15,000 for medical expenses
Minimum cover amount you must have, per worker: $45,000 for medical expenses1
1By law, you must pay up to $45,000 for medical fees for work-related injuries/illness
Covers $10,000 to $30,000 (depending on policy) in event of temporary/permanent incapacity, or death
Covers up to $289,000 in event of temporary/permanent incapacity, or death2
2By law, you must pay up to $289,000 for temporary/permanent incapacity, or death
Covers costs to repatriate body in event of death
Does not cover costs to repatriate body in event of death
Is it illegal to not purchase Foreign Worker Medical Insurance when required?
Yes, it is illegal. Employers who don’t purchase this insurance for their Work Permit holders can be jailed up to 12 months, fined up to $10,000, or both. Offending employers may also be banned from hiring foreign workers. If your business depends heavily on foreign workers to operate – e.g. companies in F&B, construction, cleaning, etc. – not being able to hire foreign workers will deal a huge blow to your business.
How much does Foreign Worker Medical Insurance cost in Singapore?
Foreign Worker Medical Insurance starts at $6.60/month, per worker. If you have more than 5 foreign workers, group discounts are available, which makes this type of insurance even more wallet-friendly. This type of insurance is highly affordable, so it’s advisable to act quickly to comply with MOM regulations, and protect your company.
With Provide, you save up to 25% on your premiums. Our digital operating model creates lower overheads, and we pass every dollar saved back to our clients.