GP visit card

Question

I am a full-time carer for my mother. I don’t qualify for a medical card but I’ve heard that a GP visit card for carers is now available. How do I apply to get one?

Answer

The rules for GP visit cards have changed. Now everyone who is getting Carer’s Benefit or Carer’s Allowance, at full rate or half rate, is eligible for a GP visit card.

To get the GP visit card, you complete the registration form for carers. The form does not ask for information about your income – just your personal and contact details. You also need to get the form signed by your GP. You must choose your GP from the list of participating GPs.

You can get a registration form, and the list of participating GPs, on medicalcard.ie or by calling LoCall 1890 252 919. You can also register for the card online at medicalcard.ie.

When you have a GP visit card, you can visit the GP for free. It also covers visits to out-of-hours GP services. However, the GP visit card does not cover hospital charges.

Prescribed drugs are not covered by the card but, if you use the Drugs Payment Scheme, there is a limit on how much you have to pay for prescriptions each month. At present, you pay a maximum of €134 in a calendar month for approved prescribed drugs and medicines for use by yourself and your family in that month.

You can download an application form for the Drugs Payment Scheme from the Health Service Executive (HSE) website, hse.ie, or you can get an application form from your pharmacy or Local Health Office.