Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme – ECHS Membership enroll procedure

Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme – ECHS Membership enrolment procedure for new & old pensioners


    1. All Armed Forces new pensioners retiring on or after 01 April 2003 compulsorily becomes members of ECHS, whereas those previous pensioners who retired prior to 31 March 2003 can exercise their option to become member of the Scheme till 31 Mar 08. Such previous pensioners joining the scheme will forfeit the medical allowance of Rs. 100/- pm presently admissible to them as part of pension. Non-ECHS members cannot avail treatment in ECHS Polyclinics.

    2. It is stipulated in Government Orders that one individual cannot become a member of two Govt/PSU schemes. He/she has to cancel membership of the other scheme, in case opting for the ECHS. If any facts are concealed, membership of this scheme will be denied. This mainly applies to those pensioners who after retirement have joined some other Government service/PSU.

    3. To acquire membership of ECHS, the ESM pensioner has to follow the undermentioned steps:-

    (a) Collection of application form.

    (b) Payment of contribution by MRO.

    (c) Provision of affidavit.

    (d) Filling up application form.

    (e) Submission of completed application form.

    (f) Collection of ECHS Smart Card on intimation.

    4. Collection of Application Forms. Application form for enrolment into ECHS is an unnumbered & self explanatory form which is provided free of cost wherever possible(placed as Appendix ‘C’). These forms are available at all Army Station HQs, all Navy/Air Force Stations, and Rajya Sainik Board offices. For those having access to the internet, it can also be downloaded from website www.indianarmy.nic.in.arechs.htm or www.infoundation.org or http://Indian air force.nic.in.

    5. Contribution. All ESM pensioners are required to make a onetime contribution based on their uncommuted basic monthly pension+ Dearness pension. However, certain categories of Veterans and family pensioners have been exempted from paying the contribution and details of the same are envisaged in Chapter 3.

    6. Affidavit. All ESM are required to make a declaration of their dependants & children and changes, if any, through an affidavit. Also, they have to declare that they are not members of any other Govt Medical Scheme. The format of the affidavit is given in the application form and is to be executed on a non-judicial stamp paper of Rs. 10/- and attested by a Magistrate or Public Notary. Affidavit is a legal document and in case of misuse of ECHS benefits, submission of fraudulent information or any other misdemeanour, ECHS has the right to take legal action. Photographs of all dependants are required to be pasted on the original affidavit, which is to be submitted to Station HQs (Army) or designated offices along with the completed application form.

    7. Filling Up Application Form. Detailed instructions are given in the application form. Further, Welfare Officers at all Air Force stations and similar officials in Army/Navy Station HQs have been directed to help ESM pensioners in filling up the application form. While filling, care must be taken that name(s) of dependants(s) tally with service document/ records. All columns and necessary details must be filled up, otherwise the application form will be rejected. The form is required to be legible and filled in black ink and in capital letters only. Passport size photographs of the pensioner, spouse, children and dependant (as the case may be) are to be affixed at appropriate boxes/places in the form.

    8. Submission of Completed Application Form. Designated Station Headquarters (Army/Navy/Air Force) at specified locations are the only authorized collection points. Pensioners are required to personally report to their nearest Station HQs with the completed application forms, along with original/photocopy of the following documents. Dependants are NOT required to accompany pensioners during this process:-

    (a) Pension Payment Order(PPO) duly attested by bank/Treasury from where pension is being drawn, or endorsed by CDA in original. It is to be shown to the checking staff at the time of submission of application form.

    (b) Discharge Book/Service Certificate.

    (c) Two passport size photographs each of the pensioner and dependants, who are proposed to be enrolled as ECHS members/dependants, are to be attached. (Paste one copy of each photo on indicated places in the application form, and one copy each on the affidavit).

    (d) Attach original copy of the Military Receivable Order (MRO) to the application form as proof of deposit of contribution. This is not required to be done in case of direct deduction of contribution through PPO by CDA (Pension).

    (e) Affidavit duly notarized in original.

    (f) Ex-Servicemen Identity Card. Original to be shown for verification to the Station HQ. Photocopy is NOT required to be submitted.

    9. Receipt, scrutiny and verification of the forms is a legal requirement to prevent fraudulent entry of non-entitled personnel. Nominated officers at collection points will collect the completed application forms, compare originals with photocopies, verify all documents provided by the pensioner and then hand over receipt to the ESM. Original PPO, Ex-Servicemen Identity Card and any/other documents will be returned. Detailed vetting and
    verification shall be undertaken subsequently, which may take 15 days to two months, depending on the information to be sought. An ESM pensioner is only considered as a member once he/she is issued a valid ECHS membership Smart Card.

    10. Collection of Smart Card. The applicant will be intimated the date of collection by the concerned Stn HQ. The original receipt of documents is required to be produced in order to collect his/her Smart Card in person. ECHS Smart Card will not be dispatched by post or handed over to any representative of the applicant. ESM shall be issued with minimum one card for the whole family and two add-on cards, if desired. This choice is to be indicated in the application form.

    11. Procedure for Becoming a Member of ECHS (For Those Who Retired Before 01 Apr 03 and Whose Contribution Has Not Been Directly Deducted by the Respective Pay Pension Authorities).

    (a) Collect computerized application forms from the nearest Station HQs of Army/Navy /Air Force. Forms can also be downloaded from internet website www.indianarmy. nic.in/ arechs.htm or Navy/Air Force website.

    (b) Pensioners to report personally to any of the Station Headquarters listed at para 14 a, b & c with completed application form along with the original and photocopy of following documents:-

    (i) PPO duly attested by bank/Treasury from which drawing pension, or a certificate from DPDO/Treasury (as per format) in case ESM is drawing pension from DPDO/ Treasury. The certificate must be signed by DPDO/Treasury Officer, and will suffice in lieu of PPO.

    (ii) Discharge Book/Discharge Certificate for PBOR.

    (iii) Original copy of Military Receivable Order (MRO) as a proof of deposit of contribution.

    (iv) Affidavit duly notarized, in original.

    (v) Retired Officers Identity Card (photocopy not required to be attached).

    (c) Applicants to come in person to Station Headquarters when informed for collection of ECHS membership SMART Card. Applicants to produce receipt of documents, as proof of their identity. Smart Card(s) will NOT be handed over to any representative.

    (d) It is mandatory for members and dependents to report to nearest Polyclinic along with SMART Card within 120 days for onetime initial registration. The Smart Card will always be required to be produced thereafter to avail treatment at a Polyclinic/empanelled hospital. ECHS Smart Card will not be activated for use, unless above registration is done.

    (e) The Smart Card is the proof of identity & authorisation for ECHS benefits for the member/dependant(s), and hence, will always have to be produced.

    12. Procedure for Becoming Members of ECHS (Retirees on or After 01 Apr 03 and Whose Contribution Has Not Been Directly Deducted by Pay Pension Authorities). For pensioners retiring w.e.f. 01 Apr 03 and after, the Scheme is compulsory. The forms are being supplied to all retiring personnel along with DO approximately 12 months in advance. Also, sample format of the application has been provided to all units/stations through their respective Command with instructions to provide application forms to retiring personnel (abnormal discharges) by photocopying locally. The ECHS forms duly completed in all respects are received at AFRO/DPP&R four months prior to their discharge date. The applications are scrutinized and all observations are cleared with in two months. PPO for ESM is issued four to six weeks before the date of retirement. On receipt, the PPO number is endorsed on the application form and then along with its photocopy, the application form is forwarded to the Regional Centre (ECHS) Delhi Cantt for preparation of Smart Card. The ECHS Smart Card is manufactured in six weeks from the date of submission of application. The receipt of the application along with Registration No. is then issued to the individual before his date of discharge. On receipt, AFRO/DPP&R will despatch the Smart Card to the ESM through registered post.

    13. Retirees, whose ECHS contribution amount has NOT been directly deducted by CDA (Pension) in PPO, will be required to deposit their contribution amount through MRO in any authorised banks. They will be required to attach original copy of MRO as a proof of remitting their contribution. In case this is not done, ECHS membership will not be valid.

    14. Station-Wise Responsibility for Receipt and Scrutiny /Verification of ECHS Application Forms.

    (a) Navy.

    (i) Kochi
    (ii) Vishakhapatnam
    (iii) Cuttack
    (iv) Port Blair
    (v) Karwar
    (vi) Balasore
    (vii) Mumbai Upnagar

    (b) Air Force.

    (i) Bangalore
    (ii) Nagpur
    (iii) Coimbatore
    (iv) Kanpur
    (v) Jorhat
    (vi) Sirsa
    (vii) Gorakhpur
    (viii) Saharanpur
    (ix) Faridabad
    (x) Hindon
    (xi) Mysore

    (c) Army. All military stations other than those mentioned at Para 14 (a) and (b) above. For the purposes of receipt and scrutiny of application forms, all ex-servicemen shall be treated at par. Any ex-servicemen reporting at any designated military station headquarters, no matter which service he is from, his/her documents will be accepted and scrutinized.

    15. Retirement at Short Notice. Officers/PBOR retiring proceeding on retirement at short notice are permitted to submit their application forms to concerned Record Office any time prior to the date of retirement or even after retirement if he/she is not in possession of PPO. ECHS membership Application can be submitted through nearest Stn HQs/Regional Centre provided it is supported by a copy of PPO and other necessary documents.

    16. Submission/Acceptance Of ECHS Application Form without PPO for Pre-1986 Retirees. ECHS Application Form in respect of pre-1986 retirees are accepted without a copy of PPO provided membership applied by Armed Forces Veteran pensioner is only for himself/herself and his/her spouse In such cases a copy of following documents would be insisted upon along with the Application Form:-

    (a) Discharge Book showing name of spouse.

    (b) Pension Book showing details of pension sanctioned.

    (c) DPDO/Banker’s Certificate.

    (d) Non Effective Strength Records Part II order in case of marriage after retirement and the fact is not shown in the DPDO/Banker’s Certificate.

    17. In case of birth of any child after retirement of pre-1986 retirees submission of Non Effective Strength Records Part II Order is a must. In no case submission of ‘Affidavit’ will be dispensed with.

    18. Advantages of Becoming an ECHS Member. The advantages of becoming an ECHS member are as under:-

    (a) The scheme will provide comprehensive medicare to all ESM pensioners, their widows and authorized dependants.

    (b) It will cover complete spectrum of ESM settled in far flung areas, through a network of polyclinics in military and non-military stations.

    (c) The Scheme is fully financed by the Government.

    (d) There is an established network of 227 Polyclinics, i.e, 104 military and 123 non-military station Polyclinics, based entirely on density of ESM in various regions. 196 Polyclinics may be included in phase II to cover all nooks & corners of country.

    (e) This arrangement will reduce load on service hospitals, as there will be an exclusive facility located along side service hospitals.

    (f) There will be civil empanelled hospitals, diagnostic centres and consultants to provide in-patient treatment/ consultancy, in addition to service hospitals.

    (g) The doctors at Polyclinics will provide required out-patient treatment and medicines, free of cost.

    (h) For further treatment, an ECHS patient will be referred initially to a service hospital, and in case of non- availability of bedspace/treatment, he will be sent to a civil empanelled hospital. The ECHS member will be provided treatment and medicines and ward facilities as per entitlement.

    (j) The procedure for dealing with an ECHS member or his/her dependents in service hospitals will be the same as for serving soldiers and their dependents.

    (k) The ECHS patient can also be referred to the desired empanelled hospital/ diagnostic centre/consultant as per choice of the ECHS patient in case of non-availability of treatment in service hospital. The ECHS member alone will have the right to make the selection of desired civil empanelled hospital and will NOT be influenced by any doctor.

    (l) An ECHS member does not have to clear bills or make payment (except for dietary charges) either on admission or when discharged from the empanelled hospital. The empanelled hospitals will be paid directly by the concerned Station Headquarters on behalf of ECHS.

    (m) It covers all diseases.

    (n) An ECHS member who possesses a valid Smart Card can avail of treatment at any ECHS Polyclinic any where in India.

    (p) There is no restriction on age or medical condition at the time of seeking membership of the Scheme.

    Source: ECHS Handbook released by Air Force Hqrs, New Delhi

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