Help with Medical Costs

Help with medical costs

There are three ways you may access help with your medical costs if you don’t receive a medical card.

  • Drugs Payment Scheme

The Drugs Payment Scheme sets a limit on how much individuals and families will pay for prescription medicine without a medical card. The limit is €80 per month. You will need to apply for this scheme via a form you can pick up at your local pharmacy. Contact your Local Health Office for more information.

Apply online


  • Long-Term Illness Scheme

The Long-Term Illness Scheme allows people with certain conditions to access the healthcare services they need even if they don’t have a medical card. These conditions are:

  • Intellectual disability
  • Mental illness (for people under 16 years of age)
  • Diabetes insipidus
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Haemophilia
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Phenylketonuria
  • Epilepsy
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spina bifida
  • Muscular dystrophies
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Parkinsonism
  • Acute leukaemia
  • Conditions arising from the use of Thalidomide

Application forms for the Long-Term Illness Scheme are available from your Local Health Office.

  • Tax Relief for Medical Expenses

Health/medical expenses relief is when a portion of money people spend on healthcare is refunded to people who pay tax.

You will need to keep all of your receipts during the year and claim them at the end of the year. You will need to complete form MED 1 and send it to your local tax office.

You can claim tax relief for the following healthcare expenses:

  • Your GP and consultants’ fees
  • Prescribed treatments
  • Prescribed medicines
  • Diagnostic procedures
  • Specialised (non-routine) dental treatment
  • Routine maternity care
  • Some other health expenses are also covered by tax relief – find out more from your local tax office