The Employees State Insurance (ESI) scheme is a social security insurance scheme that enables the beneficiaries and their dependents to obtain medical treatment benefits, unemployment cash benefits (only in specific cases) and maternity benefits (in the case of women workers). The Ministry of Labour and Employment rolled out the ESI scheme to protect the interest of workers against medical calamities.
Any factory or establishment employing more than ten workers (20 in some states) must register its employees under the ESI scheme. The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) manages the ESI scheme. The ESIC is an autonomous body established under the ESI Act, 1948 and regulates the ESI scheme.
When the workers/insured persons covered under the ESI scheme are rendered disabled to earn due to employment-related injury, they are eligible for the disablement benefit. When the insured persons die/expire due to employment-related injury, their dependents are eligible for pension benefits. The ESI card helps to avail of these benefits easily.
What is the ESI Card or E-Pehchan Card?
The ESI card is a health card given to the insured person/worker/employee enrolled under the ESI scheme. The workers covered under the ESI scheme can claim medical and sickness benefits at the ESI network hospitals or dispensaries by producing the ESI card or E-Pehchan card. The benefits are provided under the ESI scheme in the form of insurance coverage for the medical expenses of the insured person/beneficiaries and their dependents.
The ESI card is a smart identity magnetic card provided to all workers enrolled under the ESI scheme. The insured person is given two cards, one for himself/herself and one for his/her dependents. However, the insured person needs to produce the physical copy of the ESI card to avail of the medical facilities at the hospitals.
When the dependents of the insured person reside in another town, they can use the ESI card of the insured person at the ESI hospitals to avail medical facilities/benefits under the ESI scheme. The ESI card is mandatory to avail various medical schemes under the ESI Act, 1948.
Contents of the ESI Card
The ESI card contains the following details of the insured person:
- Father’s name.
- Insurance number.
- Photograph of the insured person.
- Biometric details like fingerprints of the insured person.
- Photograph of the insured person’s dependents.
- Biometric details like the fingerprints of the insured person’s dependent.
All the above details on the ESI card will be as per the details provided by the employer at the time of ESIC scheme registration of the employee on the ESIC portal.
Benefits of the ESI Card
- The ESI card has lifetime validity. Thus, the insured person does not have to apply for a new card when he/she changes jobs at companies.
- The insured persons can continue using the ESI card issued to them in the first employment place to obtain the medical benefits under the ESI scheme even when they change their employment/job. However, they need to inform the new employer of the ESI card and provide the insurance number when they have changed jobs.
- The insured person can register on the ESIC portal using his/her insurance number to change the contribution/benefits.
- When the insured person has enrolled for the ESI card in his/her previous employment but has not received it, he/she can contact the previous employer or obtain it from the nearest ESIC office.
- Through the ESI card, the insured person can avail of medical facilities at the ESI network hospitals and dispensaries quickly and easily.
- The ESI card can also be used to track the medical treatment history of the insured person.
- The ESI card stores all medical information related to an insured person since it is a magnetic card. Thus, it is helpful during future treatment at ESI affiliated hospitals.
- An insured person can avail maternity benefits, disablement benefits, medical and sickness benefits, etc., through the ESI card.
- Since the ESI card is secured by biometric authentication of the insured persons, they need not worry about its misuse. It also reduces duplicity and ensures transparency.
- The insured person and his/her dependents can avail of medical benefits in any of the ESI network hospitals across the country.
Apply for ESI Card
The process to obtain the ESI card from the ESIC when a worker is enrolled under the ESI scheme is as follows:
- The employer has to log into the ESIC portal.
- The employer needs to click on the ‘e-Pehchan Card’ option under the ‘Employee’ tab on the dashboard.
- The employer has to enter the ‘Employee Insurance Number’ and click on the ‘View’ button.
- The details of the insured person will appear. The employer must click on the ‘View Counter Foil’ option available under the ‘Registration Employees Details’ tab.
- The counterfoil of the e-Pehchan card of the insured person will open with pre-filled employee details and nominee details. The employer needs to take a printout of the counterfoil of the e-Pehchan card after checking the details.
- The employer needs to give the printout of the counterfoil of the e-Pehchan card to the employee.
- The employee needs to submit his/her photograph and the photos of his/her dependents to the employer for attestation.
- After attestation of the photographs, the employee needs to put his/her signature and the attested photographs on the counterfoil of the e-Pehchan card.
- The employee needs to submit the counterfoil of the e-Pehchan to the nearest ESIC office to obtain the physical e-Pehchan card or ESI card.
The employee needs to take his/her dependents to the ESIC office while submitting the filled counterfoil of the e-Pehchan card to capture the fingerprints. Once the ESIC office captures the fingerprints, it will send two ESI cards to the insured person through a courier.
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