The Ireland medical card is a health-beneficial card for eligible residents of Ireland.
This card is issued by the Republic of Ireland through the Health Service Executive (HSE) in the form of a plastic card issued to residents of Ireland who are entitled to free or reduced-rate medical treatment.
Medical card usage adoption can be traced back to 1953, not until 2005 when the HSE took over. Until the Irish financial crisis of 2008, persons aged over 70 were automatically entitled to free medical cards.
The removal of this entitlement was one of the strict measures of the budget of October 2008. After several protests, the benefit was reinstated to all who earn under €700 per week, more than three times the limit for younger people.
Ireland medical card is very essential for all who desire to take care of their health at ease. It entitles the holders to free visits to general practitioners (GPs), free or drastically reduced-price hospital and dental treatment, and prescribed medication.
Introduction to the Ireland medical card
In the midst of the benefits of Ireland medical cards, it is still unfortunate that many people don’t bother applying for a medical card as they think that it will be too complicated or that they probably won’t qualify for it.
If you are among those feeling weary, don’t worry you are fortunate to have come across this write-up. We have the right information to give you the necessary guidance you need to enjoy the best of the comprehensive health system of Ireland.
Most people who get a Medical Card do so because their income is below a certain level. It is also possible to get a Medical Card if the costs of meeting medical needs bring about financial hardship.
Ireland medical card holders are exempt from paying the Health Levy portion of social insurance. Also, in some cases could receive financial help with buying school books.
Benefits of Ireland medical card
The benefits of Ireland medical card include but are not limited to;
- Subsidized medical bill
- Alleviates medical bill stress
- Might be exempted from paying state examination fees
- Free GP (family doctor) services, including out-of-hours services
- Prescribed drugs and medicines are free in most cases
- Maternity and infant care services
In relation to the benefits of the medical card, these are also some of the coverage; if you have a medical card you don’t have to pay to see your doctor, or for medicines they prescribe.
A medical card also covers:
- Public out-patient and in-patient services
- Eye and ear tests
- Dental checks
Medical cardholders may also be exempt from paying school transport charges
Who is eligible to apply for a medical card in Ireland?
If you are a resident of Ireland and over the age of 16 can apply for a medical card but if you are financially dependent on your parents or guardians, they need to apply on your behalf.
Also, if your only income is a means-tested Social Welfare Allowance, you will qualify. Otherwise, your income will have to come under the guidelines set by the HSE and these differ depending on whether you are aged over or under 70.
For those aged under 66, the weekly limit is €184 for a single person and €266.50 for a couple, with additional allowances for children.
Those between the ages of 66 and 69 have a slightly higher rate of €201.50 for a single person and €298 for a couple.
Ireland medical card application
The Ireland medical application is fairly straightforward and simply involves filling out an application form, supplying proof of income and any relevant outgoings, and getting the form signed by an eligible GP.
You can apply online here or by downloading the relevant form here and posting it to the Client Registration Unit, PO Box 11745, Dublin 11.
You can also collect an application form from your local health office or call an HSE customer care team member on 1890 252 919 and ask them to post an application form to you.
Ireland medical card application assessment
Your eligibility and application are assessed based on different factors mostly on the financial threshold. The financial threshold is the amount of money that you can earn a week and still qualify for a card. It is specific to your own financial circumstances.
They also look at your household income after tax, PRSI and the Universal Social Charge (USC) have been deducted, and also certain expenses are taken into account.
If you were recently told that you did not qualify for a card but your circumstances have now changed, you can submit a new application. You should only do this if you believe you may now be eligible.
To get the full assessment breakdown we recommend you visit the IRELAND MEDICAL CARD APPLICATION ASSESSMENT
Conclusion on the Ireland medical card
Ireland medical card is essential for effective and efficient healthcare service delivery to the residents of Ireland at an affordable rate or at no cost.
We advise you to check your eligibility before proceeding with your Ireland medical card application. It is also of utmost importance to note that the links provided in this article are for seamless application and relevant information you might need for a seamless application.
Don’t be left out because of the fear of uncertainty that you will be rejected.