Foreign Worker Medical Insurance – FWMI

Foreign Worker Medical Insurance – FWMI often comes hand in hand with the WICA (Work Injury Compensation Act). Simply because the Singapore Government requires FWMI Foreign Worker Medical Insurancethe minimum coverage of the medical insurance which employers are required to buy for their foreign workers and domestic helpers, which has to be maintained at S$15,000 S$60,000 a year for the inpatient care and day surgery of each of their Work Permit Holders and S Pass holders.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) requires employers to purchase and maintain insurance for the medical expenses of their foreign workers since 1 January 2008 (amended again on 1 July 2023). This requirement was implemented in tandem with the withdrawal of healthcare subsidies for foreigners, which was previously announced by the Ministry of Health. The requirement initially started at a limit of S$5000 in 2008, but the amount had been tweaked upwards to S$15,000 since 1 January 2010 (and then again to S$60,000 on 1 July 2023)  to cope with the rising costs of hospitalisation in Singapore.

Foreign Worker Medical Insurance requirement applies only to Work Permit and S Pass holders. This is in line with employers’ existing responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of employees who are Work Permit and S Pass holders, including the provision of medical treatment. Employers are not required to buy the medical insurance for Employment Pass holders, as many foreign professionals and executives, who are on Employment Passes here, already have some form of insurance coverage through their personal overseas policies or their companies’ Group Hospitalisation policies .

FWMI provides BASIC cover for the medical expenses of Work Permit and
S Pass holders, including hospital bills for conditions that may not
be work-related occurring in Singapore. While the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA), which requires employers to purchase Work Injury Compensation
Insurance, covers the medical costs and compensation for work related
injuries suffered by their workers.

Employers who fail to purchase medical insurance are in contravention of the Conditions of Work Permits/S Pass. They shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or both.

Companies are required to buy medical insurance with a minimum coverage of $15,000 (S$60,000) per annum for inpatient care and day surgery for each of their Work Permit and S Pass holders. Some insurers can provide outpatient benefits at an additional premium.

For Employers with existing GROUP medical insurance plans (GHS) for their Work Permit and S Pass holders, we recommend that you purchase a new standalone FWMI plan for these group of workers, since your GHS policy might not meet the Ministry of Manpower (MOM)’s stipulated S$60,000 requirement.

If you need a to get a FWMI fast, do contact us immediately and we will do what we can to assist.

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