Everyone is aware that a medical card entitles you to free GP services, some prescribed drugs and medicines, hospital services and other care services. However, the medical card also entitles holders to other financial assistance such as an exemption to paying school transport charges, state exam fees and assistance with buying school books.
One other major exemption for full medical card holders is the exemption from paying both the healthy levy and the new income levy introduced in 2009. This exemption does not apply to holders of GP only medical cards.
Therefore even if you do not expect to make much use of the medical and health services, it is well worth applying for a medical card anyway to ensure your exemption from the income levy. Even if you only hold a medical card for one day in the year, you are entitled to the exemption from the income levy for the whole year. If you obtain a medical card half way through the year, you can apply for a refund of any income levy paid so far that year.
Are you eligible for a medical card?
Most people who obtain a medical card do so because their income is below a certain level or because the cost of meeting their medical needs causes them financial hardship.
In assessing your level of income, the HSE will take into account after tax income and also expenses such as your rent/mortgage, childcare costs and the cost of travelling to work.
Examples of how to assess your entitlement to a medical card can be found here:
Medical Card Assessment Examples
If you would like assistance in determining whether you may be eligible for a medical card and thus eligible to be exempt from paying the health levy and the new 2009 income levy, please feel free to contact Fenero.