Funding and Amounts Paid Out of Special Fund Used to Ensure No Foreign Worker is Denied Medical Care

Hazel Asks the Manpower Minister

Ms Hazel Poa asked the Minister for Manpower in light of the Ministry’s reply on 8 March 2021 on a special fund that is used to ensure that no foreign worker is denied the medical care needed (a) whether this special fund is fully financed by the Government; and (b) how much money has been paid out of this special fund for foreign workers’ medical bills because the employers are unable to pay.

Mrs Josephine Teo: Employers of Work Permit and S Pass holders are responsible for the medical expenses of their workers to ensure that such costs are not ultimately borne by taxpayers. For this reason, they are required to purchase insurance coverage of at least $15,000 per year. This covers about 95% of hospital bills incurred by such workers. 

To have further protection against larger medical bills, employers may pay additional premiums for higher insurance coverage. Those who do not would have to bear these additional expenses out-of-pocket. In extenuating circumstances, MOM has stepped in to help and the worker is not denied appropriate treatment despite their employers’ inability to meet their obligations. In the last three years, an average of 25 employers and their workers annually were supported, and most of the workers were domestic workers employed by Singaporean households. The average bill size of these workers was $45,000 and the amount supported was about $29,000 per worker. 

As previously shared, MOM is reviewing the medical coverage for migrant workers and will provide an update in due course. 

Source : Written Answers to Questions