THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government has extended the last date for submitting applications to join MEDISEP, the health insurance scheme for government employees and pensioners, till May 20. The decision is in the wake of a finding that a large number of employees and pensioners are yet to join the scheme, said an order issued by K Rajasree, Finance Additional Secretary.
The order asks the Treasuries Director to exhibit notices in all treasuries that the scheme is mandatory. However, there is no specific plan to inform and enrol aged pensioners who draw pension through banks and post offices.
“The government should take a proactive step to reach the pensioners who are unable to visit the treasuries. Notices in treasuries alone won’t help,” said Kunjamma Abraham, a pensioner hailing from Kottayam who submitted the application late. “It is strange the government which makes a compulsory cut wants a formal application to enrol pensioners. A good number will end up in losing money without benefiting from it,” said Sivasankara Pillai, a pensioner hailing from Kayamkulam.
Express had earlier reported that thousands of pensioners were left out of the government’s flagship health insurance scheme. Several pensioners told Express they came to know about the scheme only after its formal announcement recently. “The scheme is compulsory for employees and pensioners. Hence, the premium amount of Rs 250 will be deducted from their salary or pension every month. But to formally join the scheme requires an application in the prescribed format from the beneficiary,” Rajasree told Express.The government had earlier directed the department-level nodal officers and treasuries not to forward applications received after March 31 to the Finance Department. The new order has fixed the cut off date for receiving applications as May 20 and the last date of forwarding as May 25.