Written answers

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Department of Health

Medical Card Eligibility

Photo of Jan O'SullivanJan O'Sullivan (Limerick City, Labour)
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319. To ask the Minister for Health if he will consider allowing persons in the 66 to 70 years of age bracket to discount the cost of medical insurance against their income in assessing their qualification for a medical card, particularly in view of the significant difference between the means test for that age category and those over 70 years of age; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43118/19]

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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Under the provisions of the Health Act 1970 (as amended), eligibility for health services in Ireland is based primarily on residency and means. The Act provides that persons who are unable to arrange GP services for themselves and family, without undue hardship, can qualify for full eligibility (a medical card).

The HSE can only award medical cards in accordance with the Health Act and, therefore, it must assess applicants on the overall financial situation of the applicant and his or her spouse or partner. The HSE gives effect to this legislation through its Medical Card National Assessment Guidelines. There are no plans at present to revise the allowable expenses provided for under the Medical Card National Assessment Guidelines.


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