Mandatory rule from Apr: How to link CGHS, ABHA ID

Central government employees with the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) will now have to mandatorily link their CGHS beneficiary ID with their Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) ID.

In an office memorandum dated March 28, 2024, the Department of Health & Family Welfare of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said, “It has now been decided that linking CGHS beneficiary ID with ABHA ID shall be mandatory w.e.f 1st April.” It further said, “The linking of CGHS beneficiary ID with ABHA ID shall be completed within 30 days by all existing CGHS beneficiaries.”

Before linking your CGHS beneficiary ID with ABHA ID, let’s understand what it is and how it will help central government employees. ET Wealth Online has also explained the step-by-step process of linking CGHS beneficiary ID with ABHA ID.

What is Ayushman Bharat Health Account ID or ABHA ID?

When you go to a government hospital or facility, it usually creates an ID against your name to keep your health records. But only that hospital or center can access that ID or health records. Each time you go to a new hospital or wellness centre or programme, a different ID is created. As a patient, you need to maintain a tab of the various IDs, documents and carry them everywhere along with you. On the other hand, every hospital or wellness centre has to create and maintain your health records separately. To streamline the process and make it easier for both patients and hospitals, the central government has created — Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) — one account that can be used in all government hospitals and programmes.

Every Ayushman Bharat Health Account card contains a unique 14-digit identification number called ABHA ID. You can create an ABHA number for free.

How ABHA ID will make your life easy: Less paperwork, easy access to medical records online

Think of it as a repository where you can store your medical records and access them online. From prescriptions, and diagonistic reports to discharge summaries — you can store all the details in the ABHA account using your unique ID.

“ABHA number for a patient/beneficiary is a hassle-free method of accessing and sharing his/her health records digitally,” the department said in a circular issued in January 2023. As the process is entirely digital, the central government employees don’t have to necessarily maintain physical documents of your medical treatments.

It is recommended that every citizen should have only one health ID for optimal use of the healthcare ecosystem.

How safe are your medical records in ABHA?

Do keep in mind that as a patient, you have full control over your health records. You can choose what medical record you want to link with your health ID and share it with your healthcare provider. “The health records are being shared through a Health information exchange consent management system that ensures data is not shared among healthcare information providers and users without the approval of the person to whom data is related,” the department said in its January 2023 circular.

“Only the data collected for registries such as health ID registry, healthcare professional registry and healthcare facility registry is stored centrally,” as per the FAQs released by the National Health Authority on its website.

How to link CGHS beneficiary ID with ABHA ID

If you are a central government employee who uses CGHS, here is how you can link your beneficiary ID with the ABHA ID, as per the health department’s circular issued last year.

If a CGHS beneficiary does not have an ABHA number, he has to create one and then link it with his CGHS beneficiary ID.

Here are the steps a CGHS beneficiary needs to follow to register for an ABHA number and link it with the beneficiary ID:

Step 1: Open your browser and enter the URL:

Step 2: Go to the ‘Beneficiaries’ section and click on ‘beneficiary login’.

Step 3: A new window will open on the screen. You need to enter your beneficiary ID, password, and captcha and click on the ‘Sign In’ option.

Step 4: To create and link ABHA ID, hover the mouse on the ‘Update’ menu and click on “Create/Link ABHA ID”.

Step 5: To create ABHA ID for family members, each family member must be mapped, after

main cardholder logs in through “Beneficiary login”.

Step 6: Click on “I don’t have ABHA number”

Step 7: Enter your Aadhaar number, read the terms and conditions and give your consent.

Step 8: In the next step, enter the OTP sent on your mobile number registered with Aadhaar and click on the ‘Verify OTP’ option.

Step 9: You can see the ‘Link Status’ option. If the details get matched, then the user can print the ABHA card by clicking on print ABHA card.

Follow these steps if you already have an ABHA number.

If you already have an ABHA number, log in to the CGHS website using your beneficiary ID and password in the same way mentioned above till Step 4.

Step 1: After Step 4, you need to click on the ‘Link Using ABHA Number option’ and enter the number. Read the consent collection form carefully and give your consent.

Step 2: Click on the ‘Get OTP’ option and the OTP will be sent to your mobile number registered with Aadhaar.

Step 3: Enter OTP and click on the ‘Verify OTP’ option.

Step 4: In the next step, you can see the status of CGHS beneficiary ID and ABHA ID. If the details match, then you can click on ‘Print ABHA Card’ and take a printout of it.

Harry Byrne

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