ECHS card eligibility
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Eligibility and benefits of ECHS card that you should know.

ECHS provides medical facilities to retired defense personnel and their dependents from the Indian Army. ECHS Full form is Ex-serviceman Contributory Health Scheme. Under this scheme, the retired defense person pays one time fee (contribution) according to the rank and free of cost medical facility is provided to them and their dependents for whole life. 

Taking this facility has been made mandatory for soldiers, JCOs and officers retiring from Army, Navy and Airforce. At the time of retirement, the contribution fee is deposited from them and ECHS cards are made for the defense person and his dependents. Using this card, retired person can get their treatment done at the nearest polyclinic.

From the year 2018, new 64 KB smart cards were started to be made, which have many updated features. The capacity of the new smart card is 64 KB which is double that of the old card. The new card is completely online, in which your mobile number will also be linked, you will also have to create a login id on the ECHS website. You will also be able to change your parent ECHS polyclinic by using the login id. Along with changing the registered mobile number of your dependent, you will get many facilities online. You will also get updates from time to time on the registered mobile number. Now let's talk about what is the eligibility for making ECHS card.

Eligibility for ECHS facility

  1. The facility of ECHS can only be availed by Exservicemen who are taking pension, disability pension or family pension from Controller of Defense Accounts (CDA). Retired Persons of Indian Coast Guard can also avail this facility.
  2. War Widow and Battle Casualty of Next of Keen (NOK) are also eligible for this medical facility.
  3. Disabled soldiers in war and operations can also take advantage of this medical facility.
  4. The recruits who became medically unfit during training and are receiving disability pension are also eligible for ECHS benefit.
  5. Those who are not getting Exservicemen pension cannot get the benefit of this facility.

Dependents' eligibility for ECHS facility

  1. Spouses of exservicemen can avail the facility of ECHS membership.
  2. Boy of exservicemen who is unemployed can take advantage of this facility till the age of 25 years.
  3. Unemployed and unmarried girl and sister of exservicemen can use ECHS medical facilities. There is no age limit for girl and sister. He is eligible for these facilities as long as he is unmarried and unemployed.
  4. The younger brother of the exservicemen who is dependent on the retired person can use the ECHS facilities till the age of 18 years.
  5. Physically or mentally handicapped children, brothers and sisters of exservicemen are eligible for ECHS facilities for life, they must have a disability certificate.
  6. Dependent parents of exservicemen are also eligible for this facility if their total income from all sources is less than 9000 + DA per month and living with retired defense person.
  7. The parents of the martyr jawan can also use the ECHS facility if they fulfill the conditions of the dependent.
  8. A disabled child has to submit a disability certificate signed by a service hospital specialist to use the ECHS facility along with the application. Disability should be more than 40%.
  9. It is mandatory to submit the PAN card of the dependent above the age of 18 years and from the year 2022 it has been made mandatory to submit the income certificate of the dependent child and parent.
  10. Part II order of Exservicemen who get married after retirement and Part II order of child born after retirement is required to be done by service headquarter or record office. The facilities of ECHS can be availed only after the Part II order is placed.

As we mentioned earlier, this is a contributory health scheme in which the retiring defense person first has to make a contribution as a fee. Contribution in ECHS (Ex-serviceman Contributory Health Scheme) is also rank wise. Contribution fee is lowest from constable to constable, higher than that in JCO and highest contribution fee has to be paid by officer. The rank wise details of the contribution fee of this medical facility are given below.

ECHS Card Fee details

One time contribution fee has to be deposited in ECHS which has been changed from 29th December 2017.

Category One Time Contribution
Recruit to Havildar and equivalent rank in Navy and Airforce 30,000
Naib Subedar, Subedar, Subedar Major and Honorary Lieutenant, Captain and Navy, Air Force Equivalent Ranks 67000
All officer ranks of Army, Navy and Airforce 1,20,000
  • Exservicemen who have retired before 1st April 2003 have to deposit this one time contribution fee in Nationalized Bank/Government Treasury through MRO (Military Recievable Order) and send a scanned photocopy of the receipt of MRO along with the application.
  • Exservicemen who retired before 1st January 1996 are not required to deposit the contribution fee.
  • The ECHS contribution fee is deposited by the CDA from the Defense Persons retiring after 1st April 2003 and they do not have to pay any separate fee. Cards are issued to the retiring Defense Person from the time of retirement.
  • In addition to the subscription fee, the fee for creating a new card is Rs 177. Rs 177 is the fee for a card. When a retired person applies for making an ECHS card for himself and his dependents, he has to pay Rs 177 per card.
  • War disabled pensioner, war widow and NOK of battle casualty are fully exempted from ECHS subscription and are not required to pay any contribution fee. After becoming an ECHS member, you stop getting Fixed Medical Allowance.

For information, let us tell you that the ECHS scheme was started in the year 2003 and ECHS smart cards started being made from the year 2004. From 2004 to 2015, a smart card maker company ECHS was making smart cards and from 2017 a new company was given the contract to make this card, due to which there was an interruption in making new cards for a few months but again new ECHS The card making has started and the new cards are updated with new features and will be updated with 64 KB chips which will replace the old cards of 16 KB and 32 KB. Some of the features of the new ECHS card are given below.

Smart Card Features

  1. The new smart card will have the biometric information and mobile number link of the retired person, using which the verification can be done with the help of the kiosk installed in the polyclinic. With its help, it will also help in printing medical slips and doing line management in ECHS polyclinic.
  2. The capacity of the new smart card is 64 KB, which will store important information of the retired person like medical history, referral history, OPD details and medicine issue details etc.
  3. Almost all the facilities can be availed online in the new smart card. The application of the new card is also online, the payment mode is also online and complete information from application submission to registration, ECHS card approval, card dispatch etc. will also be given on the registered mobile through SMS.

Priority has also been given for making new ECHS smart cards which are as follows.

  1. Retiring in the future – The first priority for smart cards has been given to the soldiers serving in the army who are going to retire very soon. The reason for giving them priority for making smart cards is that they can do all the work related to ECHS while serving in defense and they don't have to worry later.
  2. Temporary Slip Holder – The second priority for ECHS card is given to those who have temporary slip instead of smart card and on the basis of the temporary slip, those people are taking treatment from ECHS polyclinic.
  3. 16 KB Card Holder – The third priority is given to the 16 KB card (oldest card) holder.
  4. 32 KB Card Holder – Fourth priority is given to those retired persons who already have 32 KB ECHS card.

This was important information related to ECHS card. If you like this post, then do share it with other defense person.

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