In a big leap taken by Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) to ensure better accessibility of medical facilities for its beneficiaries, the corporation has joined hands with the National Health Authority (NHA) to leverage the medical infrastructure available under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY) in the state of Maharashtra.
The tie-up with PM-JAY was initially implemented on a pilot basis in Maharashtra in the district of Ahmednagar and now has been extended to the entire state sans the south Mumbai region, Pune and Kolhapur districts.
This implies that in addition to the hospitals already empanelled by ESIC in the state, a broad network of 807 PMJAY empanelled hospitals would now be available to provide medical care to such workers and their dependants who are insured beneficiaries of the ESI Act in Maharashtra. With hassle-free procedures, this convergence is expected to provide doorstep access of medical facilities to the beneficiaries.
‘It has been our longstanding aim to provide doorstep delivery of medical care services in Maharashtra and this is a positive step in that direction. This convergence is going to bolster the medical infrastructure available for 1.77 crore ESIC beneficiaries in Maharashtra,” says Pranay Sinha, additional commissioner and regional director of ESIC for Maharashtra.
Additionally, ESIC has recently issued a clarification in view of the distress caused to some genuine claimants of the Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana (ABVKY) who are not able to claim 50% of three months wages for being rendered unemployed during Covid-19 period.
In cases where the employer has shown ‘0’ contribution in respect of an employee for some time before exiting him from the system, even though the employee had actually been unemployed for the duration of the ‘0’ contribution period, it has now been decided that such claims incorporating the ‘0’ contribution period shall also be allowed after due verification, subject to the condition that the beneficiary has been exited from the rolls of the employer, even at a later date and fulfils other ABVKY eligibility conditions.
This clarification is expected to not only bolster the number of beneficiaries claiming relief under Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana, but also ensure that genuine claimants under the scheme are not deprived of the benefits of ABVKY because of the omission caused by the employer.
“We will now be deputing Branch Managers/ Social Security Officers to advise Employers in their respective jurisdictions to exit such employees whose services have been terminated by them from their system immediately so that payment of relief under ABVKY can be made to such eligible claimants,” added Sinha.