0803 Oral Answer by Minister for Manpower, Dr Tan See Leng, to PQ on Healthcare Insurance by Employers
NOTICE PAPER NO. 572 OF 2021 FOR THE SITTING ON OR AFTER 28 JULY
QUESTION NO. 1420 FOR ORAL ANSWER
MP: Dr Tan Wu Meng
To ask the Minister for Manpower what channels of appeal and support are available to workers with employer-provided healthcare insurance when the employer-provided insurer has changed and the affected workers are no longer covered for conditions which the previous insurer covered.
- Employers may choose to provide health insurance to their employees as an employee benefit. There is no statutory requirement for employers to do so. Where such benefits are contractual, any changes should be agreed to by both parties.
- Tripartite partners recommend that for employers who wish to provide medical benefits to their employees, they could adopt the Portable Medical Benefits Scheme, or PMBS, and provide additional contributions to their employees’ MediSave accounts instead of insurance. These additional contributions can then be used by employees to purchase their own insurance plans. The PMBS makes healthcare costs more predictable and sustainable for employers. As the scheme name suggests, employees also enjoy portability of medical benefits, where coverage continues with no risk of exclusions even if their employment situation changes.
- Regardless of coverage under employer-provided healthcare insurance, all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents are covered under MediShield Life. MediShield Life provides lifetime protection against large hospitalisation bills and selected costly outpatient treatments such as dialysis and chemotherapy, without exclusions for pre-existing conditions. Singaporeans who face difficulties in paying for their remaining medical bills after Government subsidies, insurance and MediSave can approach medical social workers at public healthcare institutions for further assistance.