GP Visit Card

GP Visit Cards

 

Information

If you do not qualify for a medical card you may be eligible for a GP Visit Card. A GP Visit Card allows you to visit your family doctor for free.

Unless you have a medical card or a GP Visit Card, visits to family doctors are not free. In order to qualify for a GP Visit Card, you must be ordinarily resident in Ireland. That is, you must be currently living here and intend to continue to live here for a year. You must also meet specific income guidelines.

In situations where, for example, someone has an ongoing medical condition that requires exceptional and regular medical treatment or visits to the doctor, the Health Service Executive (HSE) may grant a Card to that individual or family even where their income is greater than the guidelines. Usually the HSE will only consider these applications where an ongoing medical condition is causing or is likely to cause undue financial hardship.

The GP Visit Card is a plastic card, about the same size as a credit card. It carries your name, your sex, the name of your GP and the validity period of the Card. Cards are subject to review because income levels may change, dependents grow up, or other changes could occur that may affect eligibility.

Having a GP Visit Card only allows you to visit your GP for free. Any prescribed drugs associated with your GP visit are not free. Instead, you can apply to become part of the Drugs Payment Scheme. The GP Visit Card does not cover hospital charges.

It was announced in Budget 2014 that free GP care will be introduced during 2014 for children under 6 years of age. It was also announced that unemployed people who return to work will be entitled to retain a GP Visit Card for 3 years without a means test. Currently they can retain a medical card for 3 years. These measures will require legislation.

From 5th August 2015 everyone aged 70 or over, ordinarily resident in Ireland, will be eligible for free GP care regardless of income.
All people aged 70 or over who do not have a Medical Card or GP Visit card can register to access this service.

Medical Card or GP Visit Card Holders do not have to register for this scheme.
Non-Medical Card or GP Visit Card holders can register if aged 70 or over provided they are ordinarily resident in Ireland.
Register online at gpvisitcard.ie or download the registration form.

GP Visit Card for children under 6

 

How can I get this new service?
Medical Card Holders - If your child or children have a Medical Card or GP Visit Card they will automatically be registered for this new scheme.
Non-Medical Card Holders - If your child or children does not have a Medical Card or GP Visit Card you must register them for this new scheme.


Register online
Check the list of GPs taking part

This list will be updated daily

What information do I need to register?
- Your Child or Children's PPS number
- Your PPS number and contact details
- Select your GP of choice

Where can I get details of my child's Personal Public Service (PPS) Number?
When you register your child's birth the Department of Social Protection writes to you with their PPS Number. If you do not have a PPS number for your child please contact the Client Identity Services, Department of Social Protection, Lo Call 1890 927 999 or email cis@welfare.ie

Why is a Parent's or Guardian's PPS Number needed?
We need your PPS number to link children under 6 years with all family members who are in receipt of services under the Community Health Schemes.

Do I get a GP Visit Card for my child or children?
Yes, once the registration of your child or children is complete a GP Visit Card for children under 6, will be posted, to the address provided, for each eligible child.

My child's 6th birthday is in July 2015, should I still register my child?
Yes. All children who have not reached their 6th birthday and who live in Ireland or who intend to live in Ireland for a year, are eligible for service under the GP Visit Card for children under 6 Scheme. If your child's 6th birthday occurs in July 2015, you should register your child and he/she will be eligible for GP Visit Card for children under 6 until the end of July 2015

What happens if my children attend separate GPs?
If a child or children attend separate GPs, you must complete a separate registration for each child and choose the GP of choice on each registration

Why is my GP of choice not listed?
Your GP of choice may not be listed if they have not signed the Agreement to Provide Service to children under 6 years, or if they are not accepting any further registrations. You can pick another GP. Your GP's application to join the Under 6s scheme, may be being processed. Contracts are updated on a daily basis as is the list of available GPs under the scheme.

Can I change details submitted during the online registration process?
If you have completed a registration for your child or children using the online registration facility, you may login to your previously registered account, to update or add additional information. Alternatively, you can complete another registration form to update or add additional information to your record.

I have registered my child online - what happens next?
Once you complete the registration process, details are sent to your GP of choice who must accept your child or children to his or her patient panel. Once the GP of choice has confirmed acceptance of the registration of your child or children, a GP Visit Card will be issued to all eligible children within a few days. If your GP is not accepting electronic registrations, you will be informed by email. Just print the attachment to the email and bring it to
your GP for them to complete the GP Acceptance section.

Please return the completed form to:
GP Visit Card for children under 6
PO Box 12629
Dublin 11

I have selected a GP of choice, is my child or children now covered under this scheme?
Confirmation of acceptance of your child or children is needed from your GP of choice. Your child or children's eligibility will not commence until you receive confirmation that your GP of choice has confirmed that they have accepted your child or children onto their panel.

What happens when my child or children turn 6 years?
You will be notified by the National Medical Card Unit approximately three months before your child or children's eligibility is due to expire. A 'Valid To' date is displayed on your child's GP Visit Card.

I have submitted a Medical Card/GP Visit Card application; do I need to include my child or children under 6 on the application?
When applying for a Medical Card/GP Visit Card you should include the details for all your children, including any under 6 years. This will enable the National Medical Card Unit to calculate the correct financial threshold appropriate to your family. Each member of your family will receive a Medical Card or GP Visit Card once the eligibility criteria are met. Should your Medical Card application be unsuccessful, your child or children who are under the age of 6 years will automatically get eligibility to a GP Visit Card.

What services are provided under the GP Visit Card for children under 6?
With the GP Visit Card Under 6s your child will get free GP visits, assessments at age 2 and 5 and care for children with asthma.

What are the assessments at 2 and 5 years?
The assessments at age 2 and 5 are age based preventive checks focused on health and wellbeing and prevention of disease. These assessments will involve the recording of age, gender, weight and height, and plotting on a centile chart and taking appropriate follow-up action, including where appropriate, provision of health promotion advice, brief intervention and support, or referral to specialist services. During the assessments the Medical Practitioner will provide advice on smoking cessation to parents or guardians where necessary.

What is an Asthma check?
Children suffering with asthma deserve to have their asthma well managed so they can fully participate in physical activities and live a normal life. Asthma checks have been shown to improve control of asthma in children. Each asthma check details the severity of your child or children's asthma and involves a review of medications including ensuring that your child is using inhalers correctly. Your GP will advise you on how to improve your child's asthma, including advice on smoke free environment, flu vaccination to prevent influenza and education on what to do if your child's condition is getting worse. A written plan, tailored to your child, will be given to you to help you manage your child's asthma. Asthma checks have been shown to improve control of asthma in children.

How often does my child or children get an asthma check?
Where there is a diagnosis of asthma on a child aged over 2 years, an initial asthma check will be carried out by your GP or Practice Nurse. A further check will be carried out within 3 months of the initial check and every year thereafter until your child or children are 6 years old.

Will I have to pay for medicines prescribed by my GP for my children under 6 years?
The GP Visit Card for children under 6 does not cover the cost of medications prescribed by a GP or hospital charges. If your child has eligibility under the Long Term Illness Scheme, they will receive drugs, medicines, and medical and surgical appliances directly related to the treatment of their long term illness, free of charge. If you don't have a Medical Card you should apply for a Drugs Payment Scheme Card. Under the Drugs Payment Scheme, an individual or family will pay a maximum of €144 each month for their approved drugs, medicines and certain appliances for use by them or their family, in that month. The monthly financial threshold is determined by the Minister for Health.

Will Home Visits by my GP be covered?
Yes, home visits are covered. It will be a matter for the GP to exercise his/her judgement in each individual case in determining whether a home visit is warranted.

Will Out of Hours Urgent GP care will be provided?
Yes, out of hours, urgent GP care service will be covered.

If you don't want to apply online use the application form
GP Visit Card Under 6 Application Form.pdf (size 1.4 MB)
GP Visit Card Under 6 Application Form Irish.pdf (size 1.4 MB)

and return to
GP Visit Card - Under 6s
PO Box 12629
Dublin 11

If you have any queries locall 1890 252 919

Rules

Eligibility for the GP Visit Card is means tested. That is, your income is assessed by the HSE as part of the application process.

Income limits for people aged under 70

The rules for assessing the amount of your income are the same as for the medical card means test for people aged under 70 but the income limits for the GP Visit Card are higher than the limits for the medical card.

GP Visit Card and weekly income limit, gross less tax, USC & PRSI

GP

Category

Aged under 66

Aged 66-69

Single person living alone

€276

€302

Single person living with family

€246

€260

Married or cohabiting couple (or lone parent with dependent children)

€400

€447

Allowance for each of first 2 children aged under 16

€57

€57

Allowance for 3rd and for each subsequent child under 16

€61.50

€61.50

Allowance for each of first 2 children aged over 16 (with no income)

€58.50

€58.50

Allowance for 3rd and for each subsequent child over 16 (with no income)

€64

€64

Each dependant over 16 years in full-time non-grant aided third-level

€117

€117

There are also allowances for reasonable expenses incurred in respect of childcare costs and rent/mortgage payments.

Allowances for weekly travel costs to work are assessed as the actual cost of public transport, or as mileage at 30 cent per mile (18 cent per km).
 

Income limits for people aged over 70

The rules for assessing the amount of your income are the same as for the medical card means test for people aged over 70 but the income limits for the GP Visit Card are higher than the limits for the medical card.

If you are aged over 70 and have a gross assessable weekly income that is over €500 but not over €700 for a single person (or over €900 but not over €1,400 for a couple) you can get a GP Visit card. If your weekly income is not over €500 as a single person (or not over €900 for a couple) you can qualify for a Medical Card.

Income over the limit

When you apply for a GP Visit Card you will first be assessed for eligibility for a medical card. If your income is over the relevant limit, the deciding officer will consider whether it would cause you undue hardship if you are refused a medical card.

If you don’t qualify for a medical card you are then assessed for a GP Visit Card. If your income is over the relevant limit, the deciding officer will consider whether it would be ‘unduly burdensome’ for you to pay for GP Services if you don’t have a GP Visit Card.

If you are over 70 and don’t qualify under the means test for people over 70 you can be assessed under the general scheme means test rules that apply to people under 70. This means that potential hardship arising from a refusal will be taken into account if your income is over the general scheme limits. It also means that your income can be assessed under the general scheme rules. These rules have lower income limits but they include some income disregards and allow for some costs such as rent or mortgage expenses to be taken into account.

Appeals

If your application for a GP Visit Card is refused, you will receive a letter from the HSE stating this. The letter will also set out the reasons why your application has been refused. If you are not satisfied with the decision, you may have it reviewed. Your circumstances may have changed or you may have left out some relevant information from the original application. If you are not satisfied with the review you may make an appeal to the Appeals Office of your HSE Area. The contact details will also be contained in your letter of refusal. The Appeals Office will conduct a reassessment of your application. This will be conducted by HSE staff who were not involved in deciding on your original application.

How to apply

To apply for a GP Visit Card, you use the same application form as for a medical card. As part of the application process for the GP Visit Card, your entitlement for a medical card will also be assessed.

You can apply online for a medical card or GP Visit Card on medicalcard.ie. This is the quickest method of obtaining the card. The completed form will be returned to you.

Otherwise, you can download an application form for a GP Visit Card and medical card:

Medical Card/GP Visit Card Application form

/Documents/Medical_Card_GP_Visit_Card_Application_Form%5B1%5D.pdf

Medical Card/GP Visit Card Application form for people aged 70 or older.

_/Documents/GP Visit Car Application form over 70.pdf (pdf)

Where to apply

Contact Lo-call 1890 252 919 or your local health office for more information on GP Visit Cards. You can also contact the Client Registration Unit. This is where you return the completed application form to:

 

 

Client Registration Unit

P.O Box 11745
Finglas
Dublin 11
Ireland

Locall:1890 252 919 
Fax:(01) 834 3589 
Homepage: https://www.sspcrs.ie/portal/medapp/index.jsp 
Email: clientregistration@hse.ie

 

 

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