Thursday, 8 October 2020

Ceisteanna (254, 308)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

254. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Health the exact date he will commence higher thresholds for medical card applicants over 70 years of age. [29325/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Neale Richmond

Ceist:

308. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Health when the proposed increase in the income limit for medical card holders over 70 years of age will come into effect; if those that become eligible will be able to claim a refund on their medical expenses from 1 July 2020 due to the delay in the implementation of the increase; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29526/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 254 and 308 together.

The Health (General Practitioner Service and Alteration of Criteria for Eligibility) Bill 2020, enacted on 2nd August 2020, provided for an increase to the gross medical card income limits for those aged 70 and over to €550 per week for a single person and to €1,050 per week for a couple.

In recent days the Government has approved the necessary funding required to implement this measure and the new increased income limits will take effect from November 1st 2020.

Officials in my Department are therefore now making the necessary arrangements to commence the relevant section of the Act and are engaging with the HSE's National Medical Card unit to ensure all operational arrangements are in place for implementation of this measure.

It should be noted that eligibility for a medical card is granted on the date of when a completed application has been assessed and the applicant is awarded eligibility for a medical card under the scheme guidelines. Expenditure incurred prior to qualifying for a medical card is not reimbursable.