Douglas Wattley, the former chairman of the Peoples Labour Party (PLP) has described as “heartless” a decision of Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris administration to agree to the discontinuation of insurance coverage for dependents of retired public servants.
Wattley, speaking on his weekly radio programme “The Rebuttal,” noted that when Prime Minister Dr Denzil L Douglas assumed office, public servants were given the opportunity when they retired, to continue their health insurance coverage for a small premium of EC$78 monthly.
“Dr Douglas further expanded the insurance of retired persons to allow the retirees to pay an additional EC$65.10 monthly to cover their dependents, normally their spouses,” Wattley pointed out.
“This heartless Team Unity Government has stopped the insurance coverage of the dependents of retirees in January this year,” Wattley said.
Letters were sent to scores of retirees from the Human Resource Management Division, Office of the Prime Minister dated November 6, 2018 which stated: “The National Caribbean Insurance Company Limited has informed the Human Resource Management Division that with effect from 1st January 2019 it will no longer provide insurance coverage for the dependents of retired persons.
This means that, the dependent you named for insurance coverage will be removed from the Government’s Insurance Plan as of 1st January 2019. The Human Resource Department hastens to assure you that the monthly deduction of $65.10 will be stopped by 31st December 2018.”
The letter, signed by the Chief Personnel Officer, Torfrida Rochester, continued that it is hoped that retirees will be able to make their own private arrangements for insurance for your loved ones.
National Caribbean Insurance Company Limited is part of the National Bank Group of Companies of which the Government of St Kitts and Nevis is the majority shareholder.
“What have these people done to the government? This is heartless,”said Wattley, ex chairman of Timothy Harris’ Peoples Labour Party (PLP).