What’s The Difference Between WICA & FWMI In Singapore?

WICA & FWMI in SingaporeIn Singapore, the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) and Foreign Worker Medical Insurance (FWMI) serve different purposes and cover different scenarios for employees, particularly focusing on work-related injuries and non-work-related medical issues, respectively.

Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA):

  • Coverage: WICA is designed to cover all employees, both local and foreign, who are under a contract of service or apprenticeship. It specifically deals with compensation for work-related injuries, illnesses, and occupational diseases, and is made compulsory for employees of certain wages & occupation.
  • Claims: Employees can claim for medical leave wages, medical expenses, and lump sum compensation for permanent incapacity or death resulting from work-related incidents. Claims can be made for injuries that occur at the workplace, during work-related activities outside the workplace, or due to occupational diseases.
  • Legal Framework: Under WICA, employees do not need to prove fault to claim compensation, simplifying the process compared to common law claims. However, employees cannot claim under both WICA and common law for the same injury.

Foreign Worker Medical Insurance (FWMI):

  • Coverage: FWMI is mandatory for employers hiring foreign workers on Work Permits and S Passes. It covers non-work-related medical expenses, including inpatient hospital bills and day surgery. This insurance is required from the point of the worker’s entry into Singapore and throughout their employment.
  • Minimum Requirements: Employers must purchase insurance with a minimum annual coverage of $15,000 per worker. As of July 2023, this coverage increased to at least $60,000 per year with provisions for enhanced co-payment and reimbursement mechanisms to handle higher medical bills more effectively.
  • Purpose: The primary goal of FWMI is to manage the medical expenses of foreign workers for non-work-related illnesses or injuries, thus ensuring their well-being and reducing the financial burden on employers.

In summary, while WICA focuses on compensating employees for work-related incidents, FWMI is targeted at covering non-work-related medical expenses for foreign workers. Both types of insurance are mandatory and aim to protect employees and employers from the financial implications of injuries and illnesses.