The online application process includes a quick assessment of your finances. This will let you know if you might qualify for a medical card. It is based on basic income and expenses information.
A full assessment is carried out later in the application process. You will need to upload documents showing income and expenses. For example, payslip, proof of social welfare payment, childcare costs etc.
How much you can earn
Your qualifying financial threshold is the amount you can earn a week and still qualify for a card.
How we calculate this
Your qualifying financial threshold is calculated by adding the following 3 amounts:
- A basic rate - an amount of money depending on your circumstances.
- The amount allocated for each dependant.
- The amount for allowable expenses.
The 3 amounts are added together to give you a qualifying financial threshold. This figure is the maximum amount you can earn as your net weekly income in order to qualify for a medical card.
Qualifying financial threshold
Basic rate amount + amount for dependants + allowable expenses = amount you can earn a week and qualify for a card
The basic rates
The basic rate is a fixed amount. It is determined by your age, marital status, living situation and if you have any children.
Basic rates for medical card:
- Single person living alone aged up to 65: €184
- Single person living alone aged 66 and over: €201.50
- Single person living with family aged up to 65: €164
- Single person living with family aged 66 and over: €173.50
- Married, co-habiting couple/single parent family aged up to 65 with dependants: €266.50
- Married, co-habiting couple/single parent family aged over 66 with dependants: €298
These basic rates do not apply to the GP visit card, Over 70s GP Visit card or Under 8 GP Visit card schemes. See basic rates for GP visit card
Additional rates for dependants
- First two children under 16 financially dependent on applicant: €38
- 3rd and subsequent children under 16 financially dependent on applicant: €41
- First two children over 16 financially dependent on applicant: €39
- 3rd and subsequent children over 16 financially dependent on applicant: €42.50
- A dependant over 16 who is in full time 3rd level education, not grant aided: €78
Example of qualifying financial thresholds
John lives in rented accommodation. He pays €800 per month in rent. He drives to work 5 days per week.
Basic rate allowance
Fixed amount applied to single person living alone aged below 65
Weekly rent payment
Travel to work allowance
Calculated on distance travelled to work at 18c per kilometer.
Qualifying Financial threshold
If John has weekly net earnings of €395.62 or below, he will qualify for a medical card.
If your income is above the threshold
You may not qualify for a card based on the means test. If so, we can consider if the medical bills for you or your dependants might cause you financial hardship.
Medical officers will assess your application to see if you should have a discretionary medical card or GP visit card.