Over 70s used to get automatic medical cards until a means test was introduced by Fianna Fail a few yeas ago . The means test threshold is currently €600 a week for a single person and €1200 a week for a couple. In Budget 2014 it was announced that the threshold for qualification is being lowered to €500 for single people and €900 for couples . Any over 70’s with income over these levels will no longer qualify for a full medical card. These limits are expected to be introduced from 1 January 2014 but there will be a transitional period so that medical card holders affected by these changes can keep their medical cards until 28 February 2014.
All over 70’s with income over the threshold are still entitled to a GP Visit card – which means that they don’t have to pay for visits to their GP.
The income thresholds for people under 66 are currently just €184 a week for single people and €266.50 for couples.
For people aged 66 to 69 the thresholds are €201.50 and €298.
Between 2001 and 2008, everyone over aged 70 was entitled to a medical card without a means test. In January 2009 a meanst test was introduced with income limits of €700 per week for a single person and €1,400 per week for a couple. From 5 April 2013 the limits are €600 per week for a single person and €1,200 per week for a couple.