If you are a national of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, or if you are normally resident in Ireland, you are entitled to receive the same level of health care as Irish citizens. Depending on your income, you may be eligible for a medical card, which entitles you to the full range of medical services at no cost.
If you are not from an EEA member state or Switzerland, you will be entitled to certain services free of charge and you will have to pay for the remainder.
If you are coming to live, work, study or retire in Ireland you can find out more information on eligibility for public health services. If you are coming to Ireland on holiday or on a short stay (for example, on business), you can read more information on health services for visitors to Ireland.
In addition to the public health system, people in Ireland can avail of a range of private health care services. You must pay the full costs of treatment if you opt for private health care.
There are a number of private health insurance companies in Ireland. Providers include VHI Healthcare, Laya Healthcare, Irish Life Healthand HSF Health Plan (does not provide cover for hospital in-patient costs). As long as you are from the EEA or Switzerland or normally resident in Ireland, you are entitled to the same benefits from your private health insurance with any of these companies as any other Irish citizen.
Since 16 October 2013, up to €1,000 for adults and €500 for children of your private health insurance premium attracts tax relief at the standard rate (20%). This tax relief is deducted at source by the health insurance provider.
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000. The Phone Service will operate Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm during January 2017. You can also visit your local Citizens Information Centre.