Updates on Foreign Worker Medical Insurance and Work Injury Compensation Insurance 2021


January 25, 2021

From 1 Jan 2021, there are a few major changes on the two mandatory insurance plans (foreign worker medical insurance and work injury compensation insurance) for employers. Many employers consulted me on these changes recently. So I consolidated my answers in this article.

Photo by Shawn Ang on Unsplash

Updates on Foreign Worker Medical Insurance

The changes on foreign worker medical insurance are related to COVID-19 pandemic. According to the latest policy issued by MOM, from 1 Jan 2021, employers must buy medical insurance with a coverage of at least $10,000 for all Work Permit and S Pass holders, for their medical expenses if they develop COVID-19 symptoms or test positive within 14 days of arrival in Singapore.

To meet this requirement, employers shall find out more about their existing foreign worker medical insurance policy and adjust accordingly. Usually, a foreign worker medical insurance only covers an employee when the employee starts working for the employer. To adapt to MOM’s new requirement, some insurers extend the coverage and make it be effective from the date when the employee arrives in Singapore, while some insurers require employers to add a rider to cover this new requirement. As a result, employers must contact the relevant insurer to understand the updated clauses.

Updates on Work Injury Compensation Insurance

Also from 1 Jan 2021, MOM has new requirements for work injury compensation insurance. The key points are as follows:

1. Employers must buy or renew the insurance with a designated insurer. Click this link to download the list of designated insurers from MOM website.

2. Insurers must report employers’ work injury compensation coverage details to MOM. That is to say, MOM will be very clear if an employer has purchased adequate work injury compensation insurance coverage.

3. The processing time for work injury compensation insurance application and renewal will be longer. Due to Point 2 above, insurers need time to report employers’ coverage details to MOM. So the processing time for new application and renewal will increase significantly from 2 to 3 working days previously to 21 days now. Employers must allow enough time for new application and renewal.

4. If an employer under-declares the number of employees who are mandatory to be covered, all the work injury compensation claims made by this employer will be affected. Previously, only the claim for the employee who is not covered will be affected.

Let’s review again which employees are mandatory to be covered. There are two categories:

(1) All employees doing manual work, regardless of salary level.

(2) All employees doing non-manual work, earning a basic salary of $2,100 or less a month (this salary limit will be increased to $2,600 from 1 Apr 2021 onwards).

Both foreign worker medical insurance and work injury compensation insurance are mandatory for employers. So employers need to be very careful about the updates above. If you have any relevant questions, welcome contacting me directly for a discussion.



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