The Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Tuesday relaxed the norm of minimum two years' contribution towards its health insurance scheme to six months for its insured persons to avail of super speciality treatment, which will give a major relief to those suffering from chronic diseases, said sources.
Besides, the ESIC, in its board meeting chaired by Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar, also increased the maximum individual income of dependents from the current Rs 5,000 per month to Rs 9,000 per month for getting benefits under the Employees' State Insurance (ESI) scheme.
"The ESIC board today (Tuesday) decided to reduce the minimum contribution period for getting super speciality treatment under the ESI scheme to six month from the existing two years in its meeting," a source said.
The source further said: "The board has also increased the maximum individual monthly income of dependents like son, daughter, mother and father of the insured person (IP) under the ESI to Rs 9,000 per month from existing Rs 5,000 per month."
The board also decided that the ESIC would pay the entire expense of the hospitals run by the states, which are tied up by the body for treatment of its insured persons under the ESI scheme.
Currently, the ESIC pays the seven-eighths of the expenses, while the respective states bear one-eighth of the expenditure of these hospitals.
The unions also suggested that if the service in these hospitals do not improve future despite bearing entire expenditure by the ESIC, those should be taken over by the body to run itself.
The proposal to rope in multiple contractors to improve housekeeping and security services in a hospital run by the ESIC, was deferred for next meeting. Currently, one contractor each for housekeeping and security services are engaged.
During the meeting, it was also reported to the board that the mandatory contributions towards the ESI scheme by employers and employees' have been reduced to 4 per cent and one per cent from the existing 4.5 per cent and 1.5 per cent of wages, respectively.
The decision to reduce the contributions by employers and employees towards ESI was taken in the last board meeting of the ESIC.
The ESIC protects employees against the impact of incidences of sickness, maternity, disablement and death due to employment injury and to provide medical care to insured persons and their families. The ESI scheme applies to factories and other establishments such as road transport, hotels, restaurants, cinemas, newspaper, shops, educational or medical institutions wherein 10 or more persons are employed.