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ECHS: Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme

Team AckoMar 13, 2024

The Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) was approved by the Government on 30th December 2002, and afterwards was launched with operation on 1 April 2003. The objective of the Scheme is to give accessible, high-quality healthcare to Ex-Servicemen pensioners and their dependents for all known diseases. Under this scheme, allopathic and AYUSH medicare is provided through a network of ECHS Polyclinics spread across the country or through any supply point.


We’ll talk about this scheme’s benefits, application process and other necessary information in detail in this article. 



What is the ECHS Smart Card? 

A 64 KB 'Smart card' named the "ECHS membership card" with built-in security features, is issued to all members and their dependents of ECHS. A 64 KB chip, which stores the details of the veteran and his/her dependents (including medical history), is built into it. The making of this card is a compulsory condition for getting treated at the ECHS Polyclinic as well as Empanelled Hospital/Nursing Homes and Diagnostic centres. 

If a person does not produce his card for identification, he cannot be given treatment. A few months after retirement, the smart card is issued. In this period, a Temporary Slip with all particulars of veteran, spouse and dependents may be used for treatment.

Benefits of ECHS

There are certain benefits of the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme that you must be aware of. read the following pointers to know more.

  • Coverage: This healthcare service covers inpatient and outpatient treatments, along with diagnostic tests, specialist consultations and also medicines.

  • Accessibility: ECHS has established a nationwide network of diagnostic centres and pharmacies to provide convenient access for its members throughout India.

  • Financial Support: The objective is to reduce the economic burden on ex-servicemen by providing free medical facilities, and reducing outlays for doctors 'fees.

  • Preventive Healthcare: ECHS stresses preventive medical care and health programs, taking a comprehensive view of the physical welfare of veterans.

  • Managed by the Ministry of Defence: Under the auspices of the Indian Ministry of Defence, ECHS is evidence that the government takes responsibility for seriously supporting and honouring retired personnel from the armed forces.

  • Cashless Services: ECHS helps you get cashless services and transactions so that you, as a beneficiary, are not burdened with finances while completing treatment.

  • Comprehensive Coverage: The services provided by ECHS covers right from minor illnesses to the most severe diseases.

  • Nation's Commitment: ECHS signifies the nation's pledge to provide healthcare services for those who served in its armed forces and whose contribution is deserved by all. 

How to Register on the Official ECHS Website 

To enjoy the benefits provided under ECHS smart card, you need to first register yourself with the scheme. Below is a simple step-by-step guide related to the ECHS application process to make your registration process hassle-free.

  1. Go to the official website of ECHS .

  2. Navigate to section “Useful Links” and select “ECHS Smart Card Online Application” option. The ECHS Smart Card website will be displayed on the screen.

  3. Go to the “Select Category” option where you will get a dropdown menu. choose option “Ex-Serviceman Name” from the menu. 

  4. A drop-down box will appear under the option Select ‘Select Service Category’. Select one category. 

  5. Then enter the Prefix, Suffix and Service Number.

  6. Select “Country” and go on to enter your mobile number for registration purposes.

  7. Type in the Password of your choice and click on “Confirm Password” option to complete this step.

  8. Type in the verification code and click on “Register”.

  9. If the information is correct, click 'OK'. If you want to make any changes, click ‘Cancel’.

  10. After the completion of ECHS online registration, you will be given an application number. 

How to Log in to Your ECHS Account 

By logging into the ECHS website with your login ID and password, you can engage in the services available under the scheme. The process to log into the ECHS website is outlined below:

  1. Visit the ECHS official website.

  2. A window will appear on the screen. Click 'OK' on it.

  3. Click on the ‘Already Registered. Click the ' Login' option.

  4. Select 'Country', and enter your registered mobile number and password.

  5. After entering the verification code, click on the 'Login' button.

Many ex-servicemen of India have been benefitting from the ECHS scheme. Government's initiative to provide high-quality healthcare not only benefits the ex-servicemen but also to their dependents. The Government has sanctioned 30 Regional Centres with a total of 427 Polyclinics (excluding the six in Nepal). 

Final Words

As you understood from the above discussion, ECHS, or Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme, signifies the direction taken by the Indian government towards the well-being and health of former Ex-servicemen. Moreover, ECHS also guarantees high-quality and easily accessible medical care with the help of several medical facilities and financial assistance to all.

The mandatory ECHS Smart Card streamlines the process, emphasising preventive healthcare and providing cashless services. Therefore, ECHS benefits ex-servicemen and extends its impact to their dependents, embodying a meaningful national commitment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are the answers to some of the commonly asked questions related to ECHS or Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme.


Is ECHS an insurance policy?

Yes, ECHS (Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme)  is a healthcare insurance policy. This scheme covers the medical expenses of retired armed forces personnel and their dependents.

How do I find the ECHS polyclinic list?

Visit the official website of ECHS. There, you will get an option to look for the list of polyclinics covering ECHS's services.

What documents are needed for ECHS registration?

Typically, you’ll need an Aadhaar card, PAN card, Discharge book, bank account statement, Pension Payment Order Number (PPO), signature or thumb impression, photographs etc. For smooth application, please refer to the official website for a list of documents required for ECHS registration.

Does the ECHS have a helpline for inquiries?

Yes, ECHS furnishes a helpline to answer inquiries and provides the beneficiaries with information or guidance.

Can I change the information about my ECHS online?

Yes, beneficiaries can log into their ECHS accounts online to change their personal information and contact details.

What do I put in the Prefix field if I have no prefix in my service number?

Army officers and JCOs have a prefix to their service numbers, but other service members in the Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard do not. Thus, Army JCOs and officers have access to the field, but it is optional.

What if I forgot to add dependents when filling out the application?

Unfortunately, you cannot add a dependent if your application has already been submitted. This will be available in future updates of the application. You are therefore advised to wait until the application allows you to add dependents.

Are there any fees for ECHS registration?

You do not need to pay any registration fees to register yourself to ECHS, since the aim of this scheme is to give affordable healthcare services to ex-servicemen.


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