Q1 What is the Ex Service Men Contributory Health Scheme?
Ans. ECHS was authorised by Government of India on 30 Dec 2002, and has been introduced from 01 April 2003. It is a publicly funded medicare scheme for those who are ex-servicemen and pensioners & their eligible dependants, and will provide medical care through out-patient treatment at 227 Polyclinics all over India, and in-patient hospitalization & treatment through Military Hospitals and out-sourced Civil Hospitals & Diagnostic Centers at all these 227 locations, which will be empanelled for the purpose. Treatment/hospitalization in Service Hospitals will be available to ECHS members, subject to availability of speciality, medical staff and bed space.
Q2. Who are eligible to become ECHS members?
- Armed Forces Veterans (AFV) drawing Pension / disability pension and their dependents, as indicated at Answer 4.
- Widows/Family Pensioners drawing Ordinary/Special family pension.
- Armed Forces Veterans (AFV) drawing disability pension
Q3.Is there any age limit, medical condition and last date for joining the ECHS?
Ans. Joining the ECHS is voluntary for those AFV/eligible persons who retired on or before 31 March 2003. There is no restriction on age or medical condition at the time of seeking membership or joining the scheme. It is also clarified that there is no last date for joining ECHS. However, this is to inform you that ESM who do not join ECHS will not be provided medical facilities at Service Hospitals after 31 Mar 08
Q4. Who are the family members covered?
Ans. Following family members are covered as dependents:-
- Other Dependents earning < Rs. 2550/- PM to include
- Sons (Till he starts earning or attaining the age of 25 yrs whichever earlier)
- Unmarried/Divorced Daughters
- Parents (normally residing with the Pensioner)
- Special child (mentally/physically challenged) for life
Q5. Will the members continue to get Fixed Monthly Allowance (FMA) of Rs. 100/-?
Ans. No, they have to forfeit it
Q6. What are the arrangements for those entitled ECHS members who need specialized treatment, which is not available in the Polyclinics?
Ans. In the first instance the Polyclinic doctor (s) will refer them to the local Service Hospitals. If facilities are not available at Service Hospitals, they will be referred to an empanelled hospital of the patient's choice
Q7. Will the members have to initially make payment to the empanelled hospital and then seek reimbursement?
Ans. No, The ECHS organisation will make direct payment to the empanelled hospital. There is no burden of any payment on the ECHS member either for treatment or medicines. The ECHS will NOT reimburse the member for any payments made by him knowingly or inadvertently. However ECHS will make payment only at approved rates
Q8. What is the address of Central Organisation of ECHS?
Ans. Central Organisation ECHS
Adjutant General's Branch
Maude Line, Delhi Cantt
New Delhi -110 010
Q9. Where are the application forms available?
Ans. Forms are available at all Station Headquarters, CSDs and at Rajya Sainik Board offices. For those having access to the internet form can also be downloaded from website www.indianarmy.nic.in/arechs.htm or www.irfc-nausena.mil.in
Q10. How to apply for ECHS membership?
Ans. Collect the forms. Thereafter, read the instructions carefully, fill up the application form, get the affidavit notarized and subscription/contribution deposited in Government Treasury/Reserve Bank of India or State Bank of India. Pensioners are then to personally report to Station Headquarters with the completed application form and following original and photo copy of documents (Dependants are NOT required to accompany): -
- Pension Payment Order (PPO), duly attested by Bank/Treasury from where the pension is being drawn. Original is to be shown at the time of submission of application form. In case of pre-86 retirees, application form may be accepted without PPO. However, following documents would be insisted upon alongwith the application form:-Discharge book (Not required in case of Naval officers)
- Discharge Book showing name of spouse
- Pension Book showing details of pension sanctioned
- DPDO/Banker's Certificate
- 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
- Three passport size photographs each of the pensioner & dependants, who propose to use the ECHS facilities - paste one copy of each photo on Pages 1, 2 & 3 of the application form, one copy on 'Receipt' of application and one copy each on the Affidavit
- Attach original copy of Military Receivable Order (MRO) to the Application Form as proof of deposit of contribution (note that the duplicate copy is for the bank, triplicate copy for pensioner & fourth copy is a spare one)
- Affidavit duly notarized, in original
- Armed Forces Veterans Identity Card photocopies to be attached. Original will be shown for comparison at the time of submission of form at Station Headquarters
- (In case of future retirees, copy of PPO is not required. However the application form will be processed through concerned Record Office which is in a better position to certify the impending pensioners status)
Q11. What are the diseases, which can be treated under the ECHS?
Ans. All known diseases are covered for treatment under ECHS
Q12. What is the contribution of the Govt to sustain the expenditure of the Scheme?
Ans. The ECHS scheme is totally Govt funded. The contribution by the pensioners has no bearing on the expenditure to be incurred
Q13. What is the procedure for obtaining medicines, which are not available either with the Polyclinic or with the empanelled hospital?
Ans. Local purchase will be done through concerned SEMO, in military stations, and by the OIC Polyclinic/Medical Officer in non-military stations. They have been authorized certain LP powers. ECHS members are NOT required to purchase any medicines and, hence, will not be re-imbursed, except under following specified conditions:-
- Post operative Neurosurgical & Neurology cases
- Post operative major Cardiac Surgery/Cardiology
- Oncology cases
- Post operative Organ transplantation cases
- Post operative joint replacement cases
Q14. What are the methods of empanelment of hospitals and doctors with respect to each Polyclinic?
Ans. Hospitals desirous of empanelment are required to apply through application forms available at all Stn HQs. Inspection will be done by a Station Board of officers, comprising of the Station Cdr/his rep, SEMO, concerned specialists medical officers. The proceedings of the Board of Officers will be forwarded to Central Organisation ECHS through the chain of Command, for approval of Min of Defence. List of empanelled Hospitals/Diagnostic Centres & Specialist Consultants will be available at each Polyclinic. The updated list is also posted on ECHS website
Q15. How do the members intimate the change of residence, or change of status of dependants?
Ans. Change may be intimated to Station HQs. However, each time the pensioner or his dependants visit a Polyclinic, the status of dependants will automatically be checked. ECHS members must provide accurate facts of status. In case it is discovered that change of status has been concealed (no matter what the reasons) the provisions of Para 9 of the Affidavit will be applied and membership of the AFV and all his dependants may be terminated, without any relief. There is NO appeal in such cases
Q16. Can the members have the option to continue with more than one Govt/PSU Scheme?
Ans. An 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. For example, one cannot be a member of CGHS & ECHS at the same time. Nor can one be a member of the ECHS and a PSU scheme at the same time. In case any concealment of facts is discerned, recourse will be taken as per provisions of Para 9 of the Affidavit
Q17. What is the medical coverage for those Armed Forces Veterans (AFV) who do not join the ECHS Scheme?
Ans. Existing facilities through MI Room and Service Hospitals will cease to non-members of ECHS after 31 Mar 2008
Q18. What will be the provisions for treatment/hospitalisation in emergencies?
Ans. AFV has three options, namely:-
- Report to nearest service hospital for treatment
- Report to nearest empanelled hospital. Bill will be paid by ECHS
- Report to any/nearest non-empanelled hospital. AFV/ his rep will have to pay the charges to the non-empanelled hospital initially
- In all cases where emergency treatment is availed, and where the patient does NOT go through the Polyclinic (where he/she is admitted) referral route, it will be the patient’s responsibility to inform local Polyclinic within 48 hours (2 working days)
- Such bills will be forwarded in original only to the ECHS Central Organisation, Delhi, through Parent Polyclinic
- Note. The onus of informing the Polyclinic or ECHS shall be of the patient. Also the onus of proving the emergency shall be that of the AFV patient
Q19. Can an AFV regularly go to a particular consultant/specialist?
Ans. Consultation is allowed only from consultants of empanelled hospitals, after he/she is referred by the Polyclinic. ECHS members cannot go to non-empanelled Consultants, or go to empanelled consultants without reference by the Polyclinic authorities
Q20. What will be the method of treatment & referral under the ECHS scheme?
Ans. First stage of referral will be to Local Service Hospitals in military stations (and wherever possible even in non-military stations depending upon distance). In case the specialist facilities or bedspace is NOT available in the Service Hospital, then the patient will be referred to empanelled civil facilities of their choice
Q21. DO Pt II Order requirement should be done away with, since it requires senior citizens to run around pension offices?
Ans. Members should submit their application form at Station HQs. In case of any clarification, Station HQs will get the necessary Part II Order from Record Offices. However, requirement of consulting DO Part II order/ GENFORM / AF RECFORM cannot be dispensed with due to mandatory verification check for eligibility
Q22. Clarification regarding medical history: will persons already suffering from a disease continue to be eligible after gaining ECHS membership? Is it necessary to provide medical details asked for in the computerized application form? Will the application be rejected for want of medical history/ allergy details?
Ans. Yes, History is being taken to help pensioners for their treatment and not to deny any.