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Medical Card Prescription Charges Oct 1st 2010

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Medical Card Prescription Charges

What are the prescription charges/levy? 

From 1st October 2010, people with Medical Cards will pay a 50 cent levy for medicines and other items that they get on prescription from pharmacies.  This follows a change in the law that was announced in the 2009 Budget.


How much is the prescription charge?

The prescription charge is 50 cent for each item that is dispensed to you under the Medical Card Scheme, up to a maximum of €10 per month, per person or family. Once your pharmacy can identify all of your family members then you should not pay more than €10 per month. The HSE will continue to pay the rest of the cost of your medicine.

What constitutes a ‘Family’ for the purpose of the €10 monthly maximum?

A family is you, your spouse / partner, any children under 16 years of age and any children between 16 and 21 years of age who are in full time education.

What if I or my family pays more than €10 in a month?

The HSE will issue refunds automatically on a quarterly basis, based on the information received from your pharmacy.  However, you can avoid refunds altogether if you and your family visit a single pharmacy and your Pharmacist can identify all of your family members. 

If you consider that you have not received the refund that was due to you, you can apply online, or on a refund claim form, to make a claim. 

Claims can be made online at www.medicalcard.ie, or on a claim form, which you can download at www.medicalcard.ie, pick up at your Local Health Office or if you call us on 1890-252-919 we will send one out to you.

If you need help making a claim you can contact us at 1890-252-919.

What if my Pharmacist does not know that my family members are all part of the same family?

 You can set your family up as a family group on www.medicalcard.ie and print off a certificate (family certificate) to give to your Pharmacist. That certificate will show all of the members of your family and in that case the pharmacy will not collect charges above the monthly limit of €10.


What if I don’t have access to the internet to get the family certificate?

If no one in your family has access to the internet you can get assistance from your Local Health Office or call 1890-252-919 and we will take the details and send you the certificate.  Your local Pharmacist may also be in position to assist.  You will need to have the Medical Card number for each member of your family. 

Do all Medical Card holders pay the prescription charge?

 There will be no prescription charge for Children in the care of the HSE who have their own Medical Card.  This includes children in care, foster care, foster care with relatives and other care placements. Carers responsible for children in care will pay the prescription charges to the pharmacy and claim a full refund from the HSE PCRS.

What about Methadone?

There will be no prescription charge for Methadone supplied to a person under the Methadone Treatment Protocol.  These patients will pay prescription charges for any other items received under the Medical Card Scheme.

Is the prescription charge payable if I get a Medical Card prescription from a Registered Dentist or a Registered Nurse Prescriber?


What if I get prescriptions under other Schemes?

The prescription charge will not apply to items supplied under the Long Term Illness Scheme, the DPS (Drugs Payment Scheme) or private prescriptions.  The charge does not apply to people covered by the Health (Amendment) Act 1996.

What if I get different prescriptions on a weekly/daily basis?

You will pay the prescription charge for each item up to the maximum of €10 per month, per person or family.

What if my pharmacy fills my prescription at the start of the month but then gives me the medication each week (or even daily) i.e. phased dispensing?

You will only pay the prescription charge for the initial dispensing of the medicine/item.

What are the arrangements for the homeless?

Homeless persons living in a residential setting will have the charge paid on their behalf by the provider of the accommodation who will make the necessary arrangements for collection of the charge from the residents.

Homeless persons not living in a residential setting, and with their own medical card, will pay the prescription charge.

What if I am in a Nursing Home or a Residential Disability Centre?

 If you reside in a Nursing Home, either HSE or Private, or a Residential Disability Centre the provider of the accommodation will pay the charge on your behalf and will make the necessary arrangements for collection of the charge from you.

What about High Tech products/medicines?

 As the supply of High Tech Medicines operates on the basis of a patient care fee, a prescription charge will not apply.

Where can I get more information?

For more information you can visit www.medicalcard.ie or www.hse.ie or call 1890-252-919 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.


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