Technical support to ESIS for improving and expanding access to health care services in India – A transition to formality

The overall objective of the project is to provide technical support to Indian Employee State Insurance Scheme (ESIS) for improving and expanding access to health care services.

Project background

The ESIS is the largest contributory social health insurance scheme in India. ESIS covers workers in formal employment that earn less than INR 21,000 per month in non-seasonal factories employing 10 or more persons.

The extension of the ESIS coverage to those eligible yet uncovered, would constitute a significant achievement in term of transition to formality in the country, it means ensuring that a greater share of economic activities by workers and economic units are covered in law and in practice by formal arrangements.

The project will address the overall performance of the scheme. The aim is that the scheme serves better its current beneficiaries and uses its resources more efficiently. In complementarity, the project will test approaches to extend coverage to the workers who meet the current criteria of eligibility of ESIS.

Project objective

The scope of the project is:
  • To develop a deeper understanding and a technically practical and acceptable plan of action for strengthening the scheme’s ability to facilitate access to quality health care services of the beneficiaries..
  • To provide the beneficiaries with adequate financial protection to use the ESI services rather than expose them to financial hardship.
  • To pay special attention to ensure equity in the use of the services, in particular to avoid gender based discrimination.

Implementing Partners

  • International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • Employee State Insurance Cooperation (ESIC)
  • Employers and Worker’s Organizations
  • Research Institutions and Civil Society

Target beneficiaries

  • Workers and economic units in formal and informal sector.

For further information please contact:

Ms. Mariko Ouchi