Persons with full eligibility (medical card holders) are entitled to a range of services including general practitioner services, prescribed drugs and medicines, all in-patient public hospital services in public wards including consultant services, all out-patient public hospital services including consultant services, dental, ophthalmic and aural services and appliances and maternity and infant care services. They are also entitled to prescribed drugs and medicines subject to a €2.50 charge per prescribed item (maximum charge of €25.00 per month). Other services such as allied health professional services may be available to medical card holders.
In addition, medical card holders pay the Universal Social Charge on their income (except for social welfare and HSE payments) at a maximum rate of 4%. The only exemption is for people earning less than €10,036 per annum. Medical card holders may also be exempt from paying school transport charges and State exam fees in publicly-funded second-level schools. There may also be financial help with buying school books in certain schools.
A GP Visit Card allows access to a GP without charges at the point of use. Blood tests to diagnose or monitor a condition are covered but not any prescribed drugs associated with a GP visit.