Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Questions (492)

Lucinda Creighton

Question:

492. Deputy Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Health if he will provide details of the 5,433 people who by March 2014 were found to be ineligible for medical cards, the number of those persons who were in nursing homes at the time the review was conducted; if he will confirm there was no change to the January 2014 medical card-GP visit card national assessment guidelines for persons aged 70 years and over income exceeds the income limits for the scheme, if it is possible that he or she may still qualify under the general medical card-GP visit card scheme, if his or her circumstances are causing financial hardship, for example on medical costs, nursing home costs and so on; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24297/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I have asked the HSE to provide the information on reviews directly to the Deputy.

I can confirm to the Deputy that there has been no change whereby persons aged 70 or older who are assessed as ineligible under the gross income thresholds may also have their eligibility assessed under the means tested medical card scheme where they face particularly high expenses. This assessment is based on net income and assessable outgoing expenses and the qualifying income thresholds under this scheme are lower than over-70s gross income thresholds.

Furthermore, persons aged over 70 years may still be eligible for a medical card on a discretionary basis where they face undue hardship in arranging medical services as a result of medical or social circumstances.