Central government employees must link CGHS beneficiary ID with Ayushman Bharat Health Account ID; know benefits, process to link and other details | Business

Linking of CGHS beneficiary ID with ABHA ID: Effective April 1, central government employees enrolled in the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) are required to link their CGHS beneficiary ID with their Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) ID. This directive comes from the Department of Health & Family Welfare under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, as stated in an office memorandum dated March 28, 2024.
According to the memorandum, linking CGHS beneficiary IDs with ABHA IDs is now mandatory starting from April 1.Existing CGHS beneficiaries must complete this linking process within 30 days.
Before proceeding to link your CGHS beneficiary ID with your ABHA ID, let’s take a moment to understand what ABHA ID is and how it benefits central government employees. Here’s a detailed guide explaining the step-by-step process of linking these IDs.
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What is Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) ID?

According to ET, when you visit a government hospital or facility, they typically assign you a unique ID for your health records. However, this ID is only accessible to that specific hospital or centre. This means that each time you visit a new hospital, wellness centre, or program, a separate ID is generated for you. As a result, patients must keep track of multiple IDs and documents, carrying them everywhere they go.
On the other hand, every hospital or wellness centre is responsible for creating and managing your health records independently. To simplify this process and enhance convenience for both patients and healthcare facilities, the central government introduced the Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA). ABHA serves as a single account that can be used across all government hospitals and programs, streamlining the management of health records.
Each Ayushman Bharat Health Account card features a distinct 14-digit identification number known as the ABHA ID. It’s important to note that you can generate an ABHA number free of charge.

Benefits of ABHA ID

ABHA can be a digital storage space for your medical records, accessible online. With your unique ID, you can store a range of documents, including prescriptions, diagnostic reports, and discharge summaries, all within your ABHA account.
According to a circular issued by the department in January 2023, having an ABHA number simplifies the process of accessing and sharing health records digitally. Since the entire process is digital, central government employees are relieved from the burden of maintaining physical copies of their medical treatments.
It’s advisable for every citizen to have just one health ID to make the most of the healthcare system. This ensures optimal utilisation and efficiency within the healthcare ecosystem.

Security of medical records in ABHA

It’s important to understand that as a patient, you have complete control over your health records. You can selectively choose which medical records to link with your health ID and share them with your healthcare provider.
According to a circular issued by the department in January 2023, health records are shared using a Health Information Exchange Consent Management System. This system ensures that data is only shared among healthcare information providers and users with the explicit approval of the individual to whom the data pertains.
Furthermore, as per FAQs released by the National Health Authority on its website, only data collected for specific registries, such as the health ID registry, healthcare professional registry, and healthcare facility registry, is stored centrally. This emphasises the importance of privacy and data security in managing health records.
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How to link CGHS beneficiary ID with ABHA ID

For central government employees enrolled in CGHS, here’s a guide on how to link your beneficiary ID with the ABHA ID, following the health department’s circular issued last year:

  1. Open your web browser and visit the URL: https://cghs.nic.in.
  2. Navigate to the ‘Beneficiaries’ section and select ‘beneficiary login.’
  3. A new window will appear on your screen. Enter your beneficiary ID, password, and captcha, then click ‘Sign In.’
  4. To create and link your ABHA ID, hover your mouse over the ‘Update’ menu and click on “Create/Link ABHA ID.”
  5. If you’re creating an ABHA ID for family members, ensure each family member is mapped after the main cardholder logs in through the “Beneficiary login.”
  6. Select “I don’t have an ABHA number.”
  7. Enter your Aadhaar number, review the terms and conditions, and provide your consent.
  8. In the subsequent step, input the OTP sent to your mobile number registered with Aadhaar and click ‘Verify OTP.’
  9. You’ll see the ‘Link Status’ option. If the details match, you can print the ABHA card by selecting ‘print ABHA card.’

If you already have an ABHA number, follow these steps to link it with your CGHS beneficiary ID:

  1. Log in to the CGHS website using your beneficiary ID and password, following the same process as mentioned above until Step 4.
  2. After Step 4, click on the ‘Link Using ABHA Number’ option and enter your ABHA number. Review the consent collection form carefully and provide your consent.
  3. Select the ‘Get OTP’ option, and an OTP will be sent to your mobile number registered with Aadhaar.
  4. Enter the OTP and click ‘Verify OTP.’
  5. In the following step, you’ll see the status of your CGHS beneficiary ID and ABHA ID. If the details match, you can click ‘Print ABHA Card’ to obtain a printout.

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