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Understanding the Employees State Insurance (ESI) Card and its Benefits

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  • Post published:October 22, 2023
  • Post category:ESI


ESI Card

The Employees State Insurance (ESI) scheme is a vital social security insurance scheme that ensures that workers and their dependents have access to medical treatment benefits, unemployment cash benefits (in specific cases), and maternity benefits for women workers. Envisioned by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the ESI scheme aims to safeguard the interests of workers during medical crises and employment-related injuries. To access these benefits, workers need an ESI Card, the E-Pehchan Card. In this article, we will delve into the significance of the ESI Card, its contents, and its benefits.

Understanding the ESI Card

The ESI Card is a health card issued to workers enrolled in the ESI scheme. It is a gateway to medical and sickness benefits available at ESI network hospitals and dispensaries. This card is instrumental in providing insurance coverage for the medical expenses of insured persons and their dependents, making healthcare accessible to those in need.

The ESI Card is a smart identity magnetic card allocated to the insured person and their dependents. To avail of medical facilities, individuals must produce a physical copy of the ESI Card at the designated healthcare facilities.

Contents of the ESI Card

The ESI Card contains essential details about the insured person and their dependents, ensuring the smooth facilitation of benefits:

  1. Name of the insured person.
  2. Father’s name.
  3. Address.
  4. Insurance number.
  5. Photograph of the insured person.
  6. Biometric details such as fingerprints.
  7. Photograph of the insured person’s dependents.
  8. Biometric details of the insured person’s dependents.

The employer provides these details during the employee’s registration on the ESIC portal. Including biometric data adds an extra layer of security, reducing the likelihood of misuse and ensuring transparency in the system.

Benefits of the ESI Card

The ESI Card comes with a host of advantages that make it an indispensable asset for insured persons:

  1. Lifetime Validity: The ESI Card has a lifetime validity. Insured persons do not need to reapply for a new card when changing jobs, provided they inform their new employer of their existing ESI Card and insurance number.
  2. Registration and Contribution Management: Insured persons can register on the ESIC portal to manage their contributions and benefits more efficiently.
  3. Access to Medical Facilities: The ESI Card grants quick and easy access to medical facilities at ESI network hospitals and dispensaries.
  4. Medical History Tracking: The ESI Card stores an insured person’s complete medical history, making it invaluable for future treatments at ESI-affiliated hospitals.
  5. Availment of Benefits: Through the ESI Card, insured persons can avail of maternity benefits, disablement benefits, and medical and sickness benefits, among others.
  6. Security and Transparency: The ESI Card is secured by biometric authentication, reducing the risk of misuse and ensuring transparent operations.
  7. National Accessibility: Insured persons and their dependents can access medical benefits nationwide in any ESI network hospital.

Applying for an ESI Card

To obtain an ESI Card, workers enrolled in the ESI scheme can follow these steps:

  1. The employer must log into the ESIC portal.
  2. Under the ‘Employee’ tab on the dashboard, the employer should click the ‘e-Pehchan Card’ option.
  3. Enter the ‘Employee Insurance Number’ and click the ‘View’ button.
  4. The insured person’s details will be displayed. The employer must click the ‘View Counter Foil’ option under the ‘Registration Employees Details’ tab.
  5. The counterfoil of the e-Pehchan card will appear, containing pre-filled employee and nominee details. The employer should take a printout of this counterfoil after verifying the information.
  6. The employee should submit their photograph and the photos of their dependents to the employer for attestation.
  7. After attestation, the employee should sign the counterfoil and submit it to the nearest ESIC office.
  8. The employee should visit the ESIC office with their dependents for fingerprint capturing. Once the fingerprints are recorded, a courier will send two ESI cards to the insured person.


The ESI Card is pivotal in ensuring that workers and their dependents have access to medical and financial benefits in times of need. With its lifetime validity, comprehensive contents, and various advantages, the ESI Card is a testament to the Indian government’s commitment to the welfare of its workforce. It not only eases the process of availing benefits but also strengthens the security and transparency of the ESI scheme, ensuring that workers can focus on their jobs with peace of mind, knowing they have a safety net to rely on.


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