One major entitlement that parents overlook is having a Medical Card. A Medical Card allows you & your family to receive certain health services free of charge such as:

  • Free doctor visits
  • Prescribed drugs & medicines (€0.50 per prescription)
  • Public hospital services
  • Dental, optical & hearing services
  • Some personal & social care service

The issue is that you will have to qualify under means test. The weekly income limit for married couples with two children is approximately €342 per week. Reasonable expenses incurred in respect of childcare costs, travel to work & rent/mortgage payments will also be deducted. All savings & investments below €72,000 for a couple are disregarded.

GP Visit Card

If your income (means) is above the threshold for a Medical Card you should still apply. If you don’t get a Medical Card you may still be entitled to a GP Visit Card because the income limits are generally 50% higher than for the Medical Card. This entitles you to free GP visits but you will have to pay for any subsequent medication.

Long Term Illness Card

If your family is not eligible for a Medical Card or a GP Visit Card, your child with special needs may still get an individual Long Term Illness Card. This has nothing to do with income but is based on your child’s medical condition. This allows your child to get medicines directly related to the treatment of their illness, free of charge. This applies to adults with a long term illness as well.

Drugs Payment Scheme.

The last on the list of medical schemes is the Drugs Payment Scheme. This is not means tested and is solely based on a family not have to pay more than €120 per month on all prescriptions. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist to become part of the scheme. Don’t forget to keep all medical receipt to claim it back against your tax bill each year.