The Health Ministry of the Government of India has several functions that lean towards providing and facilitating better healthcare services for the citizens. In working towards this initiative, they undertook several projects, and eventually, Ayushman Bharat was launched. It was a flagship healthcare initiative that came under the purview of the Government of India, which aimed to facilitate better healthcare services for the citizens of India who particularly belonged to the lower income group. The vision was to provide equal access to affordable healthcare to everyone in the country.

The Ayushman Bharat Health Account and the Ayushman Bharat Health Card are both a part of this project. They come under the umbrella initiative of the Ayushman Bharat Yojana but were launched with different purposes. The primary difference between the two was the income groups that they targeted.

Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA)

The Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi, launched the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) on September 2021. This large-scale initiative aimed to effectively digitize India's healthcare ecosystem, which would help strengthen the overall process in the country. Since COVID, glaring gaps have been visible in proper access and medical facilities throughout the country. The ABDM has several projects under it and one can also create an ABHA card within the initiative.

Opting for this card is voluntary for each Indian citizen. Initially, it was named – health ID or health ID card, which was then renamed into ABHA to link its association with the Ayushman Bharat project.

This card aimed to bridge the gap between the various stakeholders within the healthcare and medical arena. Since the increasing need to make healthcare affordable was obvious and became necessary during the pandemic, this card also envisioned making access to healthcare facilities easy, safe, secure, and available to everyone. It was one of the most important steps that were taken to help the citizens of India gain access to their rights with equality.

This card is a unique 14-digit number that is randomly assigned to any individual who chooses to apply and register for the same. Using this number, the individual can store and save their medical records online on the digital platform that is made for their ease of access.

They can also share this number with doctors and other countries' professionals, like health insurance companies, who can access their data (with consent) and then provide them with the necessary benefits and services. Using the ABHA, you can also store and save all the details regarding your medical reports, diagnostic conditions, prescriptions, consultation details, imaging tests, etc., in one place. This will also help you easily access your documents, and you will not have to worry about storing them or keeping a detailed paper trail with yourself.

Benefits of Ayushman Bharat Health Account

Since its inception, the ABHA health card has seen lakhs of registrations. Especially since its growing popularity, it is free of cost, and the online process, the number of registrations has only increased in recent years. Numerous benefits are associated with the download and application on this card:

  1. This card and health ID make it easy to access your health records. You may not have to sift through piles of papers to find that piece of information that you were looking for.
  2. You will have the option to link all your personal health records online on this digital platform. It will enable you to create a long-term health history. This feature is especially beneficial for those who need to visit the doctor frequently, who have a chronic illness, or who need to maintain their records for health insurance purposes.
  3. Using the ID number, you will be able to share the details with your respective doctors. These doctors are present across the country and can access your records digitally. This makes it easier for them to not miss out on any essential detail during your treatment. This access is consensual.
  4. The ABHA card registration is a safe and secure process built with a brilliant mechanism of robust security and is highly encrypted. This makes your data unsusceptible to any kind of tampering or hacking, and you can rest assured that your details will remain safe online.

Ayushman Bharat Card

Another part of the Ayushman Bharat services was the launch of the Ayushman Bharat card which brought about two different health initiatives under it – the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) and the Health and Wellness Center. This plan was initiated by the Prime Minister in September 2018 and it aimed to aid the people who fell in the lower economic strata of the country. The primary aim was to equip and provide people from low-income groups with quality healthcare.

Almost 50 crore beneficiaries have registered for the same. Once they register, they get an e-card called the Ayushman Bharat Card that they can use to avail of healthcare services at private or government hospitals throughout the country. The cardholders can also visit hospitals and benefit from cashless treatment options

Benefits of Ayushaman Bharat card

One can avail of multiple benefits from the Ayushman Bharat Card

  1. This card provides insurance coverage of up to 5 lakhs rupees on a family floater basis per annum.
  2. Having this card will entail primary, secondary, and tertiary healthcare services.
  3. The coverage will include 3 days of pre-hospitalization and 15 days of post-hospitalization expenditure.
  4. About 1400 procedures, including O.T. expenses are covered
  5. This card is of great help to economically disadvantaged people.

Difference between Ayushman Bharat Health Account and Ayushman Bharat Card

Ayushman Bharat Card:

  • People belonging to a lower-income group can register for this card
  • It is an initiative by the Government of India
  • People with this card can avail of coverage for their medical treatments and expenses

Ayushman Bharat Health Account

  • A person of any income group can have an ABHA health card download on their phones via the website or application
  • It is an initiative by the Government of India
  • People with an ABHA ID card can create a digital record of all their health records in one place to share with the respective stakeholders.
  • Covers AYUSH treatments in India


What is an ABHA card?

The ABHA health id is the 14-digit unique health card that is given to you by the GoI after you apply on the application. This number can be used to record your healthcare details and can be sent to doctors and other professionals for them to get access to your health records

Why is the health ID important?

This ID is created on a safe, secure, and encrypted platform so that people can create and access their personal health records in one place and can share the information with other stakeholders consensually

Who can create the Ayushman Bharat Card?

Any citizen of India who belongs to the lower income group can create this card and avail of the benefits. They can get coverage for their medical treatments under the purview of this card. They can also read about the ABHA card benefits in Hindi for better understanding if needed.

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