Medical card eligibility limits

Medical Card & GP Visit Card Guidelines

In 2005, changes were made to the process by which medical card and GP Visit Card eligibility is assessed, and income guidelines for the cards were revised. Further changes were made to GP Visit Card income guidelines in June 2006, extending the income limits from 25% to 50% above those for the full medical card and making more people eligible for the card.

The following guidelines are correct as of June 2006.

Everyone aged 70 years or older is automatically entitled to a full medical card, irrespective of their income. For most other people, eligibility for a full medical card or a GP Visit card is means-tested, based on disposable income (gross income less tax and PRSI). Certain outgoings including rent/mortgage, childcare costs and travel costs to work are also taken into account under the new assessment process.

The weekly income limits for medical cards and GP Visit Cards are:

Medical Card

Additional Allowances for Dependent Children:

Additional allowances are made for reasonable rent/mortgage, childcare and travel costs.

GP Visit Card

Additional Allowances for Dependent Children:

Additional allowances are made for reasonable rent/mortgage, childcare and travel costs.

Certain other individuals may also qualify for a Medical/GP Visit card, including those persons whose assessable income is in excess of the guidelines, but where financial hardship would arise because of medical costs or other exceptional circumstances.

For more information, contact your local Health Service Executive (HSE) office or visit


Reviewed: September 20, 2006


Anonymous - 10/12/2001 15:11

I am a student, not working & living from a student loan. Am I eligible for a medical card?

TriciaOC - 09/01/2002 19:00

I am a student and am not getting a student grant so am dependant on my parents fo money. Am I entitled to a medical card??

Gloria - 10/01/2002 11:06

I have no income in Ireland and no job as yet - would I need to sign on as unemployed before I could get a medical card and living in Crosshaven County Cork where to I need to go to sign on and what is the organisation or address/phone nos I need to find out about a medical card?

Katie(KatieMary) - 10/01/2002 21:26

Many people are on low incomes, higher than the euro 132 per week, but still low. There are people who do not get medical attention when necessary because they can't afford the fees and medicines. How is this problem to be addressed?

paul(fieryirish) - 10/01/2002 21:34

I have a five year old daughter who has severe learning and physical disabilites.In the past year alone we have either taken her to our local GP or Temple street hospital for various problems in excess of forty times.She was born with skeletal displasia and a diaphramatic hearnis and a host of other problems.I am the sole earner in my family and our little girl, who attends St Michaels DDC has been refused a medical card because I earn more than the limit set down in the means test.The medical card is not for me or my wife but for small child with large problems.What more can I do for her.Maybe I should quit my job so that I can help her!A medical card is for MEDICAL help for individual citizens.Are there other people out there facing the same problem that we as parents are having ?

Anonymous - 11/01/2002 00:09

My son is living in Denmark and he is not working, is he entitled to any health care or has he any entitlements?

danny18 - 15/01/2002 10:31

i live in england in 2002- i am horrified to see that a modern forward looking nation like ireland limits its health care basically to those who can afford to pay- long live the free british nhs

Anonymous - 30/07/2002 21:44

I am entitled to a medical card because of on-going chronic health problems of a severe nature. However, I would be in a position occassionally to take on a small degree of work which would supplement my allowance and, more importantly, keep me sane. I cannot do this though because I would immediately lose my medical card, and that would be detrimental to my life. Why can't the system take account of cases like mine, where occassional work could be an option, but not in any way a guarantee or a security. My allowance and my medical card are essential to my survival, but so is my sanity!

Anonymous - 29/01/2003 15:18

Why isn't an allowence made for childcare?

Anonymous - 29/01/2003 22:05

I am on Invalidity Pension and cannot get a Medical card because my spouse is working. When can't I get one for myself.

Anonymous - 05/02/2003 12:26

I am a lone parent of one with a mortgage and the usual household bills to pay. I applied for a medical card 6mths ago and am still waiting. I think I will leave work and sell my house. I would be better off!

Anonymous - 05/02/2003 18:11

having lived in the uk for past 20 years, worked in the nhs, which is not without its own problems, i find it very difficult to hand over 40euros for 5 mins of drs time i think that all children and elderly should have a medical card, and you should receive the care that you need when you go into hospital without having to be in the vhi or bupa.

Anonymous - 05/02/2003 19:11

Anonymous Don't let the system beat you The health board has to consider all your outgoings Contact your local TD preferably one involved with your local healthboard and get them to make a representation on your behalf (its their job) and get a hardship form filled out by your doctor detailing your medical needs. If you are over the earning limit then the card is considered at the health boards discretion so get as much support as possible

Anonymous - 05/02/2003 19:40

i think all students should get cards .they did years ago when they were 18

jackie(jackiefitzgeral) - 05/02/2003 21:46

I think all children who are going to school should be entitled to free doctors visits and only pay a minimum for perscriptions.

Anonymous - 06/02/2003 11:13

Thanks for the advise - Anonymous Posted: 05/02/2003 19:11. I will do exactly that. It would make life a lot easier if I didnt have to hand out 40euros every time I wanted to bring my son to the doctors. I don't mind not having a medical card myself but its too worrying not to bring a child to a doctor if you think they are sick.

dermitn - 29/05/2003 00:29

If I am a divored mother of two and receive 2000.00 Euro a month support from ex spouse and have 40,000.00 in the bank would I and my two dependents qualify for a medical card ?

Anonymous - 24/09/2003 09:26

I think that those with long term illnesses such be granted a medical card unconditionally. With illnesses such as diabetes and asthma, sufferers cannot take risks with ailments such as colds, flus and infections and need to visit their GP, so as to avoid their existing condition going out of control of worsening.

Anonymous - 24/09/2003 09:49

I'm a lone parent living at home because I can't afford anything else but still pay rent at home. I earn about 300 per week on average, can I get a medical card ?

Joann(bluelucy) - 27/09/2003 15:39

I am also a student who works part time to pay for college material i do not recieve a grant. I live with my parents but pay most of my expences myself. If I am ill I can't afford to go to the doctor or dentist! is this fair? i think not! the health service is a shambles!

Anonymous - 26/11/2003 11:06

Does anyone know if a person who is not working, has no house but pays rental, has some savings (less than E25,000) is eligible for the Medical Card? This person is not drawing the dole, but living on savings at present. I would be grateful for any help as I know he cannot afford to go to the Doctor.

Anonymous - 26/11/2003 11:15

I am wondering how someone who has 25,000 in the bank cannot afford 40 to go see a doctor.....there are thousands out there who don't have 250 in the bank and they manage it! Anyway, funny someone should mention going to your local TD and get them to make a representation on your behalf, I know someone who's family has a medical card, both parents work, one 'child' is working, the other a student....they seem well off to me, yet their local TD got it for them. Now, that really annoys me. Sponging off the state when they can well afford the doctor. I'm all for helping people who cannot afford these necessities, but wealthy people abusing this is not fair on anyone

Anonymous - 05/02/2004 23:56

To Anonymous re Diabetics. Just to advise you that medication is free to sufferers of diabetis. I also believe that should you develope any other problems due to diabetis i.e. heart problems etc. then you should have free medication for those problems also.

Anthony(thetwins) - 17/02/2004 17:49

The income guidelines for the Med Card (and for the back to school allowances) are a sick joke and reflect a meanness and miserliness in the depts of health and finance. The family in Ireland is not cherished but tax cuts and exemptions for the better off are state guaranteed. Just look at the nhs in the UK.

Anonymous - 19/07/2004 13:37

There are a large number of Lone parents living in this community that do not have medical cards.are there reasons they would not be eligible?

jacqui - 19/04/2006 22:23

My husband earns 380.00 or less a week depending if he does weekend work. we pay 650.00 a month for our mortgage, we have 3 children. will we qualify for a medical card.

Neety - 28/08/2006 12:24

I am doing a fas course and i earn 169.80 each week.i live with my parents. Is there any help i can receive as i need major work done on my teeth and also attend the doctor onece every six months.

Rosstess - 02/03/2007 09:45

I am a ninteen year old student on my mothers vivas health, my sister is in college also, am i entitled to a medical card

tom(AIP63916) - 28/02/2008 15:20

i have 12.k in the bank and working part time week income from work 300 dole 133 total 433. + rent from hse. 137. can i still get medcalcard?

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