Employees that are registered for their Employee Provident Fund (EPF), are eligible for up to Rs 1 lakh in funds as a medical advance. This can be taken out against their accumulated corpus for emergency medical treatment or hospitalization. Employees also need not give any estimate as to the cost of said hospitalization or procedure prior to withdrawing the funds. This information comes in light of a circular that was circulated by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO). The circular was a revisit by the organization to the matter of granting medical advance in the event of medical emergencies for employees under the PF scheme.
The revisited and streamlined circular outlines the ambit within which the medical advance falls and even the treatment conditions under which it will be given. One of the additions to the parameters was the inclusion of Covid-19 related treatments.
According to the circular, this advance is applicable to the employees covered under the Central Services Medical Attendant (CS(MA)) rules as well as those who fall under the coverage of the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS).
“In life-threatening diseases, many times it becomes imperative to get the patient immediately admitted in the hospital on emergency to save his/her life and it is not possible to get the estimate from the hospital in such situations. A need is felt for streamlining the advance facility for such serious in-patient’s treatment in the hospital whenever family members of employees are not able to manage estimates from the hospital concerned in which such a patient has been admitted in an emergency. Sometimes patients may be in ICU where the estimate is not known in advance. Hence the following procedure may be adapted to grant medical advance for emergency hospitalization on account of serious life-threatening illness including Covid,” said the circular.