The government plans to expand the ESI scheme across the country by the end of 2022

The government has decided to extend the social security schemes managed by the State Employees’ Insurance Corporation (ESIC) to all 744 districts of the country by the end of this year. The ESI scheme was launched for the first time in the country on February 24, 1952 in Delhi and Kanpur with 25,000 employees.

“Currently, the ESI scheme is fully implemented in 443 areas and partially in 153 areas, while 148 areas are not covered by the ESI scheme. By the end of 2022, the partially implemented and unexecuted areas throughout the country will be fully covered, “a statement from the labor ministry said on Sunday.

The decision to expand the scheme across the country was taken on 188you ESIC meeting in Hyderabad on Sunday. ESIC is currently expanding its medical facilities through a network of 154 ESI hospitals, 1,570 dispensaries and 76 dispensaries and branches. The number of ESIC IPs and beneficiaries as of March 31, 2021 is 34 million and 131 million, respectively.

During the meeting, the ESIC also decided to set up 23 new hospitals with 100 beds and a number of dispensaries across the country to ensure the provision of quality medical care to insured workers and their dependents.

As the establishment of new hospitals takes time, the ESIC decided at its meeting to allow insured workers and their families to benefit from cashless medical services through hospitals served by Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Jan Aarogya Yojna (ABPMJAY) in all areas, where the ESI scheme is. partially implemented or to be implemented or when existing ESIC health facilities are limited. The beneficiaries of the ESI scheme in 157 areas are already benefiting from non-cash medical care through this binding agreement, “it said.

The ESI scheme is applicable to all factories and other enterprises employing 10 or more people earning up to Rs 21,000 per month. In the contribution scheme, the employer contributes 3.25% and the employee 0.75% of the salaries to the scheme.

ESIC provides free medical care to its members or insured persons (IP) and members of their families, called beneficiaries. There is no ceiling on the cost of treatment. Medical care is also provided to insured persons in retirement and permanent disability and their spouses against payment of a symbolic annual premium of 120 Rs. IPs are also protected during unforeseen situations such as illness, maternity, death or injury due to an accident at work or an occupational disease. It also provides IP unemployment benefits.

The ESI Act of 1948, which governs the State Employees’ Insurance Corporation (ESIC), does not now apply to the unorganized sector. According to the FE, the government plans to attract all 380 million unorganized workers in the sector. The corporation also aimed to improve its medical infrastructure by using its reserve fund of more than 1 trillion rupees, which lies mainly in fixed income instruments in banks and extends its reach to all areas of the country.

The Social Security Code, adopted in September 2020, grants the right to ESIC health insurance to as many workers as possible. In addition, the ESIC option is proposed to be extended to workers in plantations, concerts and platform and institution workers with less than 10 workers. If there is a risky work in an institute, that institute will inevitably be included in the scope of the ESIC, even if it is a self-employed work.

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