Medical Card Means Test changes for over 70’s

After the recent uproar over Budget chnages to means testing over 70’s for medical cards – the government has made some changes to the income thresholds.
Whilst they have increased thresholds – they also said that they still expect the same number of over 70s to qualify for a full Medical Card. It is hard to understand how this can be the case – and brings into question the methods used to calculate the savings to be made by this change.
The new rules on eligibility for over 70’s
The weekly income thresholds are now €240.30 (single) and €480.60 (couple).
If you have income of more than €240.30 (single)/€480.60 (couple), you will be asked for some additional information.
Other social welfare payments like the fuel allowance or the living alone allowance are not counted in the means test.

The means test income amount is net income after certain expenses. For example, rent/mortgage, GP costs, medicines costs, medical appliances, nursing home fees, maintenance payments you make, any income tax or PRSI you pay,
Savings : Any savings you have up to €36,000 (single) or €72,000 (couple) will not be counted in the means test. Your family home will not be counted in the means test.

GP Visit card The income limit for the GP visit card for over 70’s will be €360.45 (single) or €720.90 (couple)

If you don’t qualify for either of these and if your gross weekly income is less than €650 (single)/€1,300 (couple) you will get the €400 annual “health support payment”

Don’t forget that the maximum any family will have to pay towards medicines on prescription will be limited by the Drugs Payment Scheme. No person or couple will have to pay more than €100 euro a month on prescription medicines.