Press Release

Minister Hoctor welcomes new income thresholds to apply to medical cards for people aged 70 and over

Máire Hoctor, TD, Minister for Older People, today (Tuesday, 21st October 2008) welcomed clarification of the new income thresholds for medical cards for persons aged 70 and over.

“With effect from 1 January 2009 new income thresholds will apply for medical cards for people aged 70 and over. This means that everyone aged 70 or over whose gross income is less than €700 a week (or €36,500 a year) for a single person and €1,400 a week (or €73,000 a year) for a couple can now be sure they will keep their medical card” said Minister Hoctor.

“In addition to this, anyone with an income above the threshold who has a difficulty in meeting their medical needs will be eligible to apply for a medical card under the discretionary medical scheme. This means, in real terms, that 95% of the over 70’s will have a medical card.”

The Minister took the opportunity to acknowledge all the phone calls, e-mails and representations received in the past week from those concerned following the government decision to change the over 70s medical card rules. “I know I speak for everyone in government when I say that I regret any confusion and anxiety caused in the past week to older people and their families” she said.

“The new arrangements will not require those eligible to undergo a means test. All persons aged 70 or over will be notified of the new arrangements by the HSE within the coming weeks but only those with incomes above the new threshold will be asked to notify the HSE of their incomes. New applicants after the first of January next year will be subject to a means test.”

“Information on these new arrangements will be provided on my Department’s website or also by contacting your local health office or the HSE Infoline on 1850 24 1850.”