COVID-19 add-on plans can satisfy MOM’s latest maid guidelines, but first check that you require one before purchase.
From 1 January 2021, all incoming foreign domestic workers (FDWs) will need to have insurance coverage against COVID-19.
According to MOM’s guidelines, your FDW must have insurance that ‘covers at least $10,000 for medical expenses if the FDW develops COVID-19 symptoms or tests positive within 14 days of arrival in Singapore’.
Since maid insurance plans already come with medical cover, would you need to purchase additional COVID-19 insurance for your domestic worker? What’s the best way to do that, and how much does it cost?
You may not need to purchase COVID-19 insurance for your maid
The vast majority of maid insurance plans already have medical coverage, with many meeting or exceeding the $10,000 requirement.
Thus, if you already have a maid insurance plan that also covers medical fees arising from COVID-19, you may skip the COVID-19 insurance and save the money for something else.
But you may want to, anyway
Some insurers have launched add-on COVID-19 plans, offering added cover at an extra premium.
These COVID-19 add-on plans provide a separate medical benefit that is distinct from the medical benefit already included in the main plan.
In other words, you’ll gain an additional pool of funds to cover hospitalisation and treatment costs should your FDW be tested positive for COVID-19.
Add on COVID-19 benefit or make do with included medical benefit?
So it seems that employers seeking to hire FDWs have a choice to make.
Should you spend more money to purchase a COVID-19 add-on, or simply go with the medical benefit that comes with the maid insurance plan (provided the cover is at least $10,000)?
The following table provides a quick comparison.
|COVID-19 add-on||Included medical benefit|
|Costs extra money||No added costs|
|Provides extra funds for treatment and hospitalisation for COVID-19||No extra funds for COVID-19, entire benefit have to last the policy year|
|May be restricted – claimable only for COVID-19 infection found within 14-day quarantine period||Claimable for medical treatment and hospitalisation costs arising from a wide range of conditions and diseases (may not include pre-existing conditions)|
|Can be added to existing plan||Only accessible with new plan|
To sum up, you should purchase the add-on if you wish to have extra funds for COVID-19 treatment.
Employers with existing maid insurance plans (perhaps transferred from a previous maid) may also want to purchase an add-on, instead of purchasing a new plan entirely.
4 maid insurance plans with add-on COVID-19 benefits
|Insurance Plan||14-day COVID-19 Benefits (annual limit)||Premiums|
|TIQ eProtect Maid||$15,000||Add-on: $52|
|INCOME Domestic Helper Insurance||$30,000||Add-on:|
$53.50 (14 months)
$64.20 (26 months)
|MSIG MaidPlus||$30,000||Add-on: $64.20|
|HL Assurance Maid Protect360||$15,000||Add-on:|
$135.50 (14 months)
$171.20 (26 months)
TIQ eProtect Maid: From $52
TIQ’s maid insurance policy offers a 14-day COVID-19 cover that provides a $15,000 benefit for hospitalisation and surgical expenses. It is available at an add-on cost of $52 for both 14-month and 26-month plans.
Although this is among the cheapest options we found, do note that the additional benefit is also on the lower end of the scale.
MSIG MaidPlus: $64.20 for up to 26 months
It’s not explicitly advertised but MSIG also offers add-on COVID-19 medical benefits for your maid. The coverage is worth $30,000 and costs $64.20 for up to 26 months.
There’s no 14-month plan available for this add-on.
INCOME Domestic Helper Insurance: From $53.50
INCOME offers COVID-19 cover of up to $30,000 for FDWs entering or returning to Singapore from overseas. Premiums for the add-on starts from $53.20 for a 14-month plan, and costs $64.20 for 26 months.
The combination of high benefits and low premiums makes this COVID-19 add-on one of the best for value-for-money.
HL Assurance Maid Protect360: From $135.50
HL Assure’s COVID-19 add-on is rather pricey, starting from $135.50 for just $15,000 worth of additional coverage. However, the plan covers all COVID-19 infections, and not just from overseas travel.
If you’d rather not pay such a high price for the add-on, upgrading your plan to the next tier will provide you with increased medical (and other) benefits, but at a lower cost.
HL Assurance Maid Protect360 Promotion: Receive $30 cash via PayNow when you apply. Valid till 25 Mar 2021. T&Cs apply.
Receive $15,000 p.a. COVID-19 Hospitalisation Coverage, including SHN and helpers returning from home leave, when you purchase the Enhanced Medical Benefit Rider. T&Cs apply.
What else should you know about MOM’s FWD guidelines in 2021
You’ll need to pay for quarantine and COVID-19 tests
COVID-19 medical cover is just part of the story. Take note that you’ll also need to pay for the following:
- On-arrival COVID-19 test ($160 each)
- Quarantine at dedicated SHN facilities ($1,500 for 14 days)
- COVID-19 test during quarantine (up to $200 each)
Topping-up may be more cost-effective
If you fear the medical benefit in your maid insurance plan is not large enough to cover COVID-19 costs, check to see if you can top-up the medical benefits only.
Doing so may be a cheaper way to increase your plan’s hospitalisation and medical fee benefits, versus paying the full cost of a COVID-19 add-on plan.
With the many fees, levies and requirements, hiring a foreign domestic worker doesn’t come cheap. Check out our cost guide to hiring maids in Singapore, to get a good estimate of the expenses.
And finally, don’t forget to use our handy comparison tool to quickly and easily find a maid insurance plan that suits both your budget and your maid’s needs.
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By Alevin Chan
An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.