ESIC extends health insurance scheme to Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur

Saturday, 8 August,New Delhi: Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has decided to implement its health insurance scheme to Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Manipur in a bid to cover all states in the country.

Besides, in its board meeting on Friday, it has decided to extend the benefit of its health insurance scheme to Andaman & Nicobar Islands, a union territory, according to an official release.

ESIC already covers union territories of Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, National Capital Territory of Delhi and Puducherry under the ambit of its health insurance scheme.

ESIC, an arm of Labour Ministry, has a direct subscriber base of 1.95 crore, covering a population of around eight crore people under its cover.

The ESIC board, headed by Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, has also decided to the extend the reach of ESI Scheme to 393 districts in the country by 1st April, 2016.

At present, the ESIC coverage is limited to industrial or commercial pockets on the basis of revenue villages.

The board has also set up a committee for coverage of unorganised sector by reducing the threshold limit from present 10 workers to 5.

At present, all establishments with 10 or more workers are covered under the ESI scheme.

The panel will work on plans to provide medical insurance to selected groups in the urban areas, including rickshaw pullers, auto-rickshaw drivers, Anganwadi/Asha/Mid-day meal workers and other such categories.

ESIC has planned to directly run the health insurance services in all states without asking them to bear the cost of medical expenses.

The board may soon design a new structure at the state level in the form of a subsidiary corporation in which state and central government as well as employees and employers organisations would be duly represented.

It has also approved extending the benefits of the ESI Scheme to the workers deployed on construction sites located in the implemented areas from August 1, 2015.