The Cabinet Sub-Committee constituted to study demands of the government employees has decided to launch the long-awaited “cashless health insurance scheme” for them with effect from April 11, 2013 (Ugadi day) involving an annual cost of Rs. 350 crore.

A 60 per cent of this expenditure would be met by the government while the employees would contribute towards the remaining cost.

The decision to ground the scheme was taken by the Cabinet committee during its discussions here on Saturday with leaders of Telangana Employees’ Joint Action Committee and that of AP NGOs’ Association which represents the staff in “Seemandhra” region.

Finance Minister Anam Ramanarayan Reddy, Roads & Buildings Minister Dharamana Prasada Rao and Health Minister Kondru Murali, who held discussions, also assured them that the health cards, based on which the scheme would be implemented through Arogyasri Healthcare Trust, would be issued to all eligible employees by March 31.

V. Gopal Reddy, chairman, JAC of AP NGOs’ Association, P. Venkat Reddy and N. Anand Rao, both its co-chairmen, welcomed the decision along with G. Deviprasad and V. Srinivas Goud, chairman and secretary-general, Telangana Employees’ JAC.

They said later that the Finance Minister had promised that a formal announcement on launching of the scheme would be made soon after approval by CM N. Kiran Kumar Reddy.

The Minister also promised to consider inclusion of outpatient treatment also in the scheme and removal of the Rs. 2 lakh cap on the expenditure allowed on each card annually for specific diseases.