Archive for the ‘maid employment costs’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Maid Insurance - Shocking Changes

With effect from 1 January 2010, the medical insurance coverage of domestic helpers, FDWs or maids will be increased to $15,000, instead of the usual $5,000 coverage.

Needless to say, the insurance premium would also increase to reflect the higher cost of insurance. Across the board, the general increase is in the region of $50 to $100.

This is pretty much in line with the reduction in government assistance for foreign workers in general in terms of medical expenses. At the same time, this also helps reduce the risk of employers of maids. Why do I say so?

In my line of work, I’ve come across some unfortunate cases whereby the employers had to bear substantial cost, in the region of $20,000 to $50,000 depending on what happened to the girl.

One case, in particular, was really unfortunate. A helper had severe stomach pain and was diagnosed with ****. (To protect the privacy of my clients, I will not be revealing any details and I may modify some of the facts. However, the key points and facts will remain as they are.)

But, what was shocking was that the girl had to undergo a major operation and she had to be hospitalised for a significant period of time. The medical bill was estimated to be in the region of $35,000.

To make matters worse, the illness was diagnosed to be a pre-existing medical condition. As such, it was not covered under the insurance plan.

As a side note, so that you understand why a pre-existing medical condition is generally excluded automatically - the rationale is that no insurer will take on anyone, for instance, with cancer. Nor, would anyone with cancer, declare that he has cancer because no insurer will take him up.

So as to reduce the general cost of insurance, the pre-existing medical condition exclusion is instituted across the board for practically all insurance types, including maid insurance. This is because, if the insurer knows that the incumbent has cancer, they will either increase the insurance premium significantly or not take on the case at all.

So, coming back to the case. Basically, my client had to bear all the medical cost of the maid since it is one of the MOM conditions of employment for the maid.

Needless to say, if the case wasn’t that of a pre-existing condition, there will be a coverage of $5,000 under the old insurance scheme. With the new scheme, the coverage will be $15,000.

At least, my client will be covered for $15,000 under the new scheme.

However, there are also insurance plans with higher coverage which she could have opted for under the new insurance plans which may well cover all her exposure to her maid being sick.

All in all, the new insurance scheme seeks to reduce the risk of employers of maids. However, it also increases the cost of employing a maid. Unfortunately, if the maid has a pre-existing medical condition, no amount of insurance can help.

Perhaps, to reduce their risk significantly, employers should consider having their maids undergo a full body checkup before employment and not the current partial checkup. Now, that may be something to think about if a few hundred dollars of expenses maybe able to prevent tens of thousands of dollars of heartache later on…

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