Questions and Answers

Below we have answered some of the most common questions asked. If however, you still have further questions then feel free to contact us on our LoCall number 1890 252 919.


What happens when my child turns 16 years?

Young people aged 16 years to 25 years, who are financially dependent on their parents, each get their own card when they apply, if their parents are eligible for a Medical Card. If you are not dependent on your parents, your own means and income is considered for assessment.


Can I use my Medical Card on holiday?

You can use your Medical Card for up to three months if you are living temporarily in a different area in Ireland e.g. on holiday. In this case, you can attend any GP in the area participating in the Medical Card scheme. Contact the HSE office in the area you will be visiting for a list of doctors who provide services under the scheme.

If you are going to be away longer than three months, you do not have to re-apply for a new Medical Card. You should make contact with your new Local Health Office where you will be advised of the GPs practising in your new area.

You cannot use your Medical Card outside of Ireland. Since 1 July 2004, you can go directly to a care provider, such as a GP or hospital, with your European Health Insurance Card (European Health Insurance Card) or equivalent paper form, if you need healthcare while on a temporary stay in another member state.


How long does the Medical Card last?

The card is usually issued for three years after which your eligibility is  reviewed. Depending on your circumstances, it may be issued for a shorter period. If your circumstances change, you must inform the HSE, as you may no longer be eligible. If your income or family circumstances change you must inform Client Registration Unit, P.O. Box 11745, Dublin 11, or alternatively contact us at LoCall 1890 252 919.

As a quality control measure we also carry out random reviews of continued eligibility. This is to make sure that people who hold cards are still eligible, based on national guidelines. Should you be selected at random for a review, you will receive a personalised letter and review form for completion. You will be notified of the specific date by which the review form must be returned the Client Registration Unit, P.O. Box 11745, Dublin 11. If you do not return your review form your application cannot be re-assessed and your card may not be re-issued.


Can I retain my card if I return to work?

The retention of Medical Cards (without a means test) is approved for people as indicated below:-

  • People who participate on certain Government Employment and Education Schemes will retain their entitlement to a Medical Card for the duration of the scheme (Examples include Back to Work Allowance, Community Employment Schemes, Back to Education Allowance, etc.)
  • People who have been unemployed or in receipt of One Parent Family Payment for a minimum of 12 months will retain their Medical Card for a period of 3 years if they commence employment
  • When a person who has been unemployed for a period of 12 months or more enters part-time employment, their medical card will be retained for a period of 3 years from the date their income increases to a level which exceeds the appropriate Medical Card Guideline
  • People who hold a medical card and are in receipt of a Disability Allowance or a Blind Pension from the Department of Social and Family Affairs and who take up employment are allowed to retain their Medical Card for a maximum of 3 years from the date of taking up employment. Dependent members of the family of those covered
    by the 'retention' provisions will also be granted medical cards.


Can I get a Braille Card if I am visually impaired?

Yes, we can make Braille versions of the Medical Card and the GP Visit Card available to visually impaired cardholders on request.