The government has instructed the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) to expand its social security plans in all 744 counties of the country by December this year. The extension program will have to take into account the increased benefit base following the introduction of the new social security legislation.
Currently, the ESI scheme is fully implemented in 443 districts and partially implemented in 153 districts, while 148 districts are not covered by the ESI scheme.
The ESI scheme applies to all factories and other establishments with 10 or more persons earning up to Rs 21,000 per month. In the premium scheme, the employer contributes 3.25% and the employee 0.75% of the wages to the scheme.
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ESIC provides free medical care to its members or insured persons (IPs) and their family members, called beneficiaries. The number of ESIC IPs and beneficiaries was 34 million and 131 million respectively as of March 31, 2021.
By participating in a two-day brainstorming event of the ESIC, Labor Minister Bhupender Yadav also instructed the ESIC to provide its beneficiaries with cashless medical care through Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojna (ABPMJAY) occupied hospitals in all districts of the country .
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Beneficiaries of the ESI scheme in more than 150 districts are already using cashless medical care through this liaison scheme.