Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS)

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 17/04/2024

The ECHS full form in medical jargon is Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme. ECHS was approved by the Indian government on 30th December 2002 and was later implemented on 1st April 2003. The scheme serves as a medical insurance and provides healthcare services to ex-servicemen and their dependents. Ever since its launch, the growth rate has been phenomenal with tremendous expansion.

AYUSH and allopathic medicare are provided using a network of ECHS Polyclinics under this scheme. Let us dive deeper into the intricacies of this special health insurance plan, its benefits, and its significance.

Objectives of Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme

The primary objective of this scheme is to provide good quality healthcare services to ex-servicemen and their dependents. Doing so ensures that they receive cashless treatment and the necessary resources to receive timely treatment. Additionally, it aims to relieve the financial burden of increasing medical expenses and help the ex-servicemen attain peace of mind . This scheme offers healthcare services at 427 polyclinics across India on an outpatient basis. Furthermore, both in and outpatients can receive medical care in military hospitals and accredited private hospitals.

Benefits of ECHS

ECHS has several great features that benefit the beneficiaries in many ways. Here are the benefits:

Cashless treatment: This is one of the most significant features of the ECHS scheme. It offers cashless treatment to the beneficiaries at the empanelled hospitals and diagnostic centres. With the aim of relieving financial burdens, the cashless treatment allows them to focus on their and their loved one’s well-being.

Comprehensive healthcare coverage: This scheme offers a wide array of medical services, such as diagnostic tests, inpatient treatment, specialist consultation, and pharmacy benefits. By providing a comprehensive package, the beneficiaries can be assured of receiving timely treatments as per their requirements.

A huge network of empanelled healthcare providers: This scheme has empanelled hospitals, polyclinics, diagnostic centres, and pharmacies. Beneficiaries can get their treatment from any one of the listed healthcare providers at their convenience.

Preventive healthcare: The scheme not only supports the treatment but also covers preventive health programs, adding to its comprehensive approach.

Portability: The scheme offers these services at any location convenient to the beneficiary. These services can be accessed by ex-servicemen anywhere across the country while relocating.

ECHS Card Apply: Who is Eligible for ECHS?

Ex-servicemen Should be an Ex-Serviceman Should be drawing pension/disability pension/family pension from Controller of Defence Accounts, including Indian Coast Guard personnel. War widows (Veer Naris) / NOK of battle casualties. Personnel disabled in operations. Recruits that are medically boarded out during training and receive a disability pension.
Dependents Spouse. Unemployed son(s) up to 25 years of age Minor brother(s) up to 18 years of age. Unemployed/unmarried daughter(s) /Sister including widow/legally divorced irrespective of age. Physically/mentally handicapped child / brother / sister for life (with valid disability certificate) as per PWD Act 1995. Wholly dependent Parents whose combined monthly income does not exceed ₹9000/- plus DA per month. They must generally reside with the member. Parents of deceased soldiers (subject to meeting dependency criteria.) Parents of both members, in case both husband and wife are Defence Personnel and if both pay the subscription. Financial limit applicable to all dependents except spouses. Abandoned/divorced/widowed daughter/sister. Disabled child.

Steps for Online ECHS Registration

To avail of the ECHS card services, you will first need to register yourself under the scheme. Follow these steps to go ahead with an ECHS online application:

  • Visit the official website.

  • Find the heading “Useful Links” on the homepage of the website.

  • Select “ECHS Smart Card Online Application.” This will take you to the smart card application webpage.

  • Click on “Select Category” and choose your appropriate category from the drop-down list.

  • Enter your name as per the instructions.

  • Select “Service Category” from the drop-down list.

  • Enter the Prefix, Suffix, and your Service Number.

  • Enter your mobile number without the country code.

  • Create password and security questions and proceed to complete the registration process.

  • Verify the information entered is correct and click on “Ok.” If you wish to make any changes to the entered information, click on “Cancel” to go back.

  • You will receive an application number upon successful ECHS online application.

How to Log in to Your ECHS Account

  • You will receive your login credentials after successful registration into the scheme. Use the ID and password and log in to your account by following the steps below:

  • Visit the official website.

  • Click “Useful Links” on the homepage of the website.

  • Select “ECHS Smart Card Online Application.” This will take you to the smart card application webpage.

  • Click on “Already registered. Click to Login.”

  • Enter your registration mobile number and your password.

  • Enter the captcha and click on “Log in.”

What is the ECHS Card?

Under the scheme, all the members and their dependents receive a 64 KB smart card called the ECHS Membership Card. This card has in-build security features and a 64 KB chip that contains details of the member and their dependents. Along with personal information, this chip also has details of their medical history.

It is important to produce this card at the time of availing at polyclinics or empanelled healthcare providers. These centres can refuse to provide any services if the member or their dependents fail to produce this card for identification.

Beneficiaries can apply for the card and it may take a few months to issue the card to the member. Meanwhile, they receive a temporary slip with similar details and can be used to receive treatments.

ECHS Card Benefits

  • The smart card eases the cashless treatment facility by allowing the service providers to access all the necessary information in one go. But this is not the only benefit of having a smart card. Here are some more benefits:

  • The smart card has been updated and can authenticate Aadhaar-based biometric fingerprints.

  • The application process for ECHS cards can be done easily through their official website. It saves time by avoiding long queues and hassle.

  • The new 64 KB has a higher storage capacity, allowing members to store all the necessary data on the card. The data can include medical histories of both the veteran and their dependents, referrals, issue logs, etc.

  • The card has higher security because of its advanced features like digital signatures and encryption.

  • A wider range of devices are compatible with the 64 KB smart card, such as mobile phones, card readers, etc.

  • Saves time and effort for the members by allowing them to access the information digitally from anywhere.

  • Accessing and managing veterans’ and their families’ medical history is easier.

Documents Required for ECHS Card Application

Before you start filling out the application form for the ECHS card, ensure that you have the following documents with you:

  • Aadhaar card

  • PAN card

  • Signature or thumb impression

  • Discharge book

  • Old smart card copy

  • Passport size photograph

  • Blood group

  • Bank account statement

  • Pension Payment Order Number (PPO)


The ECHS empowers ex-servicemen and their dependents to fight illnesses without worrying about finances. It offers cashless services at any of the empanelled hospitals, diagnostic centres and other listed healthcare providers.

The process of claiming insurance gets easier with the help of the smart card. The 64 KB card has all the necessary information uploaded on the chip, helping service providers to access it in one place.

Additionally, this mediclaim policy also has a wider array of hospitals and ECHS Polyclinics listed under it, making it easy for the policyholders to receive treatments from anywhere across India. ECHS further contributes to the goal of providing quality healthcare to every person, regardless of their social status, age, or any other shortcomings.

Importance of Tata AIG Dental Insurance

While we take all the preventive care of our body, we must not forget to care for our oral health equally. Dental care has always been expensive, and the inflation is simply adding to the cost, causing it to skyrocket. Thus creating a need for dental insurance in India.

Tata AIG offers two plans that cover dental treatment: MediCare and MediCare Premium. The premium plan offers higher coverage than the other plan. It offers cashless treatment facilities, consumable benefits, preventive health checkups, and great tax benefits. Choose the Tata AIG dental insurance plan and secure your peace of mind.


How much is the ECHS contribution for pensioners?

The ECHS contribution for an ECHS member varies from ₹30,000 to ₹1,20,000. Those servicemen who have retired before 1st January 1996, and war widows and war disabled do not have to pay any contribution.

How much is the payment for an ECHS card?

The cost of one Smart Card is ₹177/- (inclusive of all taxes) with transaction charges extra.

Disclaimer / TnC

Your policy is subjected to terms and conditions & inclusions and exclusions mentioned in your policy wording. Please go through the documents carefully.

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