Lt.Col. Vikram Prasanna, Col. Jitinder Singh
Retired Armed Forces personnel till 2002 could avail medical facilities only for specific high cost surgery/treatment for a limited number of diseases covered under the Army Group Insurance and Armed Forces Group Insurance Scheme schemes. These Medicare schemes could provide some relief to the Ex-servicemen but it was not a comprehensive scheme as compared to and available for other Central Government Employees. Therefore, the requirement was felt for establishing a Medicare system which could provide quality healthcare to the large number of retirees of the Armed Forces.
Based on this noble aim, a comprehensive scheme known as the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS)was launched with effect from 01 Apr 2003.
This scheme has an attached office under the Dept of Ex Servicemen Welfare (DoESW)Ministry of Defence (MoD).With the advent of this scheme, Ex-servicemen pensioners and their dependents who were only entitled for treatment in service hospital are now authorized treatment, not only in service hospitals, but also in those civil/private hospitals which are specifically empanelled with the ECHS. The Scheme is financed by Govt of India.
As on today, there are 28 Regional Centres and 426 ECHS Polyclinicsacross the country which serves the very purpose of taking care of our veterans and their dependents.
1. No age or medical condition bar for becoming a member.
2. Life time contribution ranges from Rs 30,000/- to Rs 1,20,000/- (depending upon Grade Pay).
3. Provision for re-imbursement at CGHS rates, in case of treatment under Emergency in a non-empanelled facility.
4. No monetary ceiling on treatment.
5. Indoor/outdoor treatment, tests and medicines.
6. Familiar environment and sense of belongingness.
7. Covers spouse and all eligible dependents.
Smart Card Source : http://indianexserviceman.blogspot.com/2018/04/echs-smart-card.html