Medical Card Entitlement

Medical Card Entitlement

A full Medical card entitles you to all medical services free.

A GP Visit Card covers the cost of GP visits for you

The means teat for these cards is based on net income. That is after deductions for tax, USC and PRSI; reasonable living expenses for rent or mortgage; travel costs to and from work; child care and of regular weekly out of pocket medical expenses. Savings are valued in the same way as non-contributory OAP. The cards will be granted if your remaining income after these deductions allowances do not exceed the following guidelines.

 Medical Card                                GP Only Card

Under 66              Over 66               Under 66                 Over 66

Single Living Alone                         €184.00             €201.50                €276.00                €302.00

Single Living with family               €164.00             €173.50                 €246.00                €260.00

Married Couple/Single Parent     €266.50              €298.00                 €400.00                €447.00


Additional Allowances for Dependent Children

Medical Card                                   GP Only Card


The first two children under 16                                €38.00                                                    €57.00

Additional children under 16                                    €41 .00                                                   €61.50

The first two children over 16                                   €42.50                                                   €58.50

Additional children over 16                                       €78.00                                                €117.00

Card Holders do not have to pay state exam fees for their children.

Students will only qualify for a medical card in their own right if they have an independent income of at least €164 per week. This may include a student grant which would not count in the means test.

Those with British or EU pensions and who have no Irish Social Welfare pension generally qualify for a Medical card regardless of income.


It is proposed that children under the age of 5 will from the second half of the year have Free GP Visits.

Those on Social Welfare

Who have no other income will generally qualify for a Medical Card. An increase in Social Welfare will not cause you to lose the Medical Card. When you are twelve months in receipt of Social Welfare benefit, should you secure full-time employment you are entitled to retain your Medical card for 3 years.


Consideration will be given:

The HSE will in special circumstances give cases outside of these guidelines special consideration. For example should a family member incur high medical costs that person may be grant a discretionary card.


Persons Aged 70 and Over

Single                                                   Couple

Full Medial card

If the gross weekly income is less than           €500 per week                                   €900 per week.

GP Card

If the gross weekly income is less than           €700 per week                                   €1,400 per week.

One either spouse reaches 70 the partner also qualifies.

A Surviving Partner aged over 70 will retain their medical card for 3 years before reassessment of means.

In the means test the €36,000 (single) €72,000 (couple) of assets are disregarded. On the balance only the income actually earned will be counted.

Prescription Charges:

A charge of €2.50 per prescription item applies for Medical Card holders. The maximum charge per month is capped at €25.00. This charge does not apply to those on the long term illness scheme.

Any family can get a Drug Refund on the full cost of prescribed drugs used in any month in excess of €144 provided that the drugs are on the prescribed list.

Hospital Entitlement:

Every person is entitled to public in-patient and out-patient hospital services. However if you see a consultant privately you will have to pay for privately for all tests or care arising. You may give notice that you wish to switch back to join the public waiting list for treatment.

Hospital Charges:

Casualty and Outpatient €100 unless referred by your doctor or are admitted to hospital.

Public patients pay €80 per night up to a maximum of €800 in any year

Private patients will pay charges even if they are in public wards. The charges are €407 day care cases €813 per night or €1000 per single room.