No cash benefits for ESIC subscribers without bank account details

Topics ESIC | Insurance | social security

The ESIC has decided to not take registration for new employees unless their employers submit bank account and mobile number details
The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has started a drive to de-duplicate its subscribers’ data in a bid to do better targeting of insurance benefits to the private sector workers.

The ESIC has decided to not take registration for new employees unless their employers submit bank account and mobile number details beginning July 1. “To improve the efficiency in the disbursement of ESIC benefits (including claim reimbursement) and bring transparency, the competent authority has ordered to make mobile number and bank account details of an employee mandatory pre-requisite for registering an insured person,” a circular issued by the ESIC on June 29 said.

The ESIC will further encourage employers to update the mobile numbers and bank account details of the existing subscribers through an online portal.

The ESIC has said in its circular that availing cash benefits and medical claim reimbursements will only be possible from July 1 “if the correct bank account details of the beneficiary are available in the system.” The ESIC has around 35 million insured persons in its records right now. The ESIC offers cash benefits to its subscribers in the form of unemployment insurance and sickness benefits.

“There is a lot of duplication in the subscribers’ data of the ESIC right now though efforts are made towards de-duplication. Since the Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory for all the subscribers, cleaning up the dataset becomes an issue. This is the reason the decision has been made to attach mobile numbers and bank account details of subscribers,” a senior labour and employment ministry official said.

The Code on Social Security Bill proposed by the government has made Aadhaar mandatory for ESIC subscribers but since the enactment of the law will take time, the government has taken this step, the official added.

The government also found it difficult to reach out to its existing subscribers during the ongoing pandemic to keep them informed about the existing infrastructure and facilities of the ESIC with mobile numbers of workers often missing from the database.

The ESI is a self-financing health insurance scheme for formal sector workers in India managed by the ESIC. The ESI Act provides for medical, cash, maternity, disability and dependent benefits to employees drawing a salary of up to Rs 21,000 per month. The ESI Act applies to factories with 10 or more workers and it is also applicable to shops, hotels, restaurants, cinemas and road transport undertakings.

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