Employers in Singapore have been advised to pay more upfront for better insurance coverage for their foreign domestic workers when it comes to medical and personal-accident policies.

Financial consultant Lai Chien-ming told Lianhe Wanbao (Singapore) that more than 90% of employers purchase the minimum plans for their maids, which cost S$200-S$300 (US$147-US$220) a month and offer an average coverage period of 26 months.

Basic medical-insurance coverage of S$15,000 per year, as required by the Ministry of Manpower, would only provide protection for inpatient care and day surgery during the helper’s stay in the country.

In order to have general outpatient consultations included, employers should consider upgrading their maids’ medical insurance to a coverage of S$40,000, which would mean spending about S$100 more each month, one employment agent said.

The Ministry of Manpower has increased the required coverage of personal-accident insurance for maids to at least S$60,000 from S$40,000 per year, with effect from October 1, 2017.