Covid-19 Pandemic: ESIC Offers Free Treatment To Beneficiaries, Announces Relief Measures

ESIC offers free treatment to beneficiaries afflicted by Covid-19
ESIC offers free treatment to beneficiaries afflicted by Covid-19

Extending a helping hand to its beneficiaries, who have been afflicted by the Corona virus infection, the Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) on Thursday announced that all insured persons and family members are liable for availing free medical care in any of its hospitals, which have been declared as dedicated Covid centres.

Each ESIC hospital has been directed to function with a minimum of 20 per cent of its bed capacity reserved for ESI staff, pensioners and beneficiaries, according to Labour Ministry sources.

ESI beneficiaries can also seek emergency or non-emergency medical treatment from a tie-up hospital directly without referral letter, as per the person's entitlement.

In case the beneficiary or a family member on being infected with COVID-19 takes treatment in any private institution, then the reimbursement of expenditure can also be claimed.

Currently 21 ESIC hospitals run directly by ESIC with 3,676 COVID isolation beds, 229 ICU beds and 163 ventilator beds, as well as 26 ESI scheme hospitals run by state governments having 2,023 beds are functioning as COVID-19 dedicated hospitals.

The corporation has in addition to this, announced a slew of measures for its beneficiaries, under which, in case the insured person abstains from work on being infected with the deadly virus, then he or she can claim sickness benefit for the period of abstention as per entitlement. Sickness benefit is paid at 70 per cent of average daily wages for 91 days.

Similarly if any insured person becomes unemployed, then that beneficiary may avail relief under Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana(ABVKY) under 50 per cent of average per day earning for a maximum 90 days. For availing this relief, the insured person can submit the claim online at the corporation's  portal. 

The ESIC has further announced that if an insured person becomes unemployed owing to retrenchment or closure of establishment, then that person can claim unemployment allowance for a period of two years subject to qualifying conditions under Rajiv Gandhi Shramik Kalyan Yojana (RGSKY)

In the event of a beneficiary's death, then funeral expenses of Rs 15,000 would be paid to the eldest surviving member of the family.

Plasma therapy which has shown promising results to save the lives of serious COVID-19 patients, is also available in ESIC Medical College & Hospital, Faridabad (Haryana) and ESIC Medical College & Hospital, Sanath Nagar (Telangana), the statement said.