Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Questions (172, 173)

Paul Connaughton

Question:

175 Deputy Paul J. Connaughton asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive a decision on his application for a medical card; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11619/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Health)

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Martin Ferris

Question:

176 Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Health the reason a 70 year old person (details supplied) has to produce evidence of fire and contents insurance of their house when applying for a medical card when this is not asked for in the medical card application form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11620/12]

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Under the Health Act 2008, the income thresholds for entitlement to a medical card for those aged 70 and over are €700 (gross) per week (€36,500 per year) for a single person and €1,400 (gross) per week (€73,000 per year) for a couple (married couples and couples living together as husband and wife).

Persons aged 70 or over, whose gross income is above the stated thresholds, may, depending on their personal circumstances, still qualify for a medical card or a GP visit card under the standard means-testing arrangements which exist at present. The purpose of requesting proof of house insurance from persons making applications for medical cards is to assist in determining a person's net income, as per the medical card guidelines. Some housing costs such as house insurance costs, can be offset against an applicant's income and improve their chances of qualifying for a medical card.