Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Questions (463)

Terence Flanagan


463. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health if he will respond to a query (details supplied) regarding medical cards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24138/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

If the question refers to a medical card review under the over-70 medical card scheme, the HSE is required to identify those persons who no longer have full eligibility as a result of the changes to the gross income limits from 1st January 2014. The HSE has written to some 60,000 over-70s persons advising them that their eligibility for a medical card is under review in line with the new income limits. Those contacted can complete the review form on-line or on the form enclosed with the letter. In both cases, all documentary evidence requested must be provided.

If, however, the review is in respect of a medical card awarded following the exercise of discretion, the HSE has suspended reviews in progress where discretion was involved and extended eligibility. Families affected have been so advised in the normal way.

This is following on from the Government's decision to develop a new ground of eligibility for the award of medical and/or GP visit cards on the basis of having specific on-going medical conditions which give rise to significant health care costs. The HSE has established an Expert Panel to examine the range of conditions that should be considered as a basis of eligibility and has been asked to make an early report to Government.