Oral Answer by Mr Sam Tan Minister of State for Manpower to Parliamentary Question on medical insurance for Foreign Domestic Worker
NOTICE PAPER NO. 1097 OF 2018 FOR THE SITTING ON 19 MARCH 2018
QUESTION NO. 1859 FOR ORAL ANSWER
MP: Mr Patrick Tay Teck Guan
To ask the Minister for Manpower whether the Ministry will consider introducing some policy enhancements to help employers cope with unexpected and huge medical bills when their domestic helpers are diagnosed with mental and critical illnesses that fall outside the coverage of the compulsory insurance.
NOTICE PAPER NO. 1101 OF 2018 FOR THE SITTING ON 19 MARCH 2018
QUESTION NO. 1860 FOR ORAL ANSWER
MP: Dr Tan Wu Meng
To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) whether insurers provide data to the Ministry regarding the claims made on the compulsory medical insurance policies of their domestic helpers; (b) if so, what proportion of medical bills reached or exceeded the claims limit in the past three years; and (c) what measures are available to assist employers when domestic helpers are diagnosed with unexpected serious illnesses.
- Employers of foreign domestic workers (FDWs) purchase medical insurance for their FDWs directly with insurers. Insurers are not required to provide individual claims data directly to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
- MOM regularly tracks hospital bills from public hospitals to ensure that our employers have adequate coverage for their FDWs. Based on the records of public hospitals, the current compulsory minimum coverage of $15,000 was sufficient to meet 97%, or the vast majority, of all inpatient and day surgery bills for FDWs in the last three years. For the minority of employers who face genuine difficulties in paying their FDW’s medical bills, they can seek help through the medical social workers at the relevant healthcare institutions. Medical social workers will assess each case individually and provide assistance based on their needs.
- MOM regularly consults relevant stakeholders such as insurers, employers and employment agencies and reviews the minimum insurance coverage to ensure adequate protection at affordable premiums for our FDW employers. Mandating higher insurance coverage will raise premium costs for all employers. Instead, our current policy already allows employers who are concerned about the risk of higher medical bills to have the option of taking up insurance plans with higher coverage.