Dermot is 72. He has a social welfare pension and a small private pension, total €400 a week. He also has €70,000 in savings, and gets €3,500 a year income from the interest.
The HSE will calculate his income from this, either by taking the actual interest earned or using their notional rate, for example, 3%.
In Dermot's case, he is earning 5% actual interest, so he can opt for the notional rate of 3% instead.
The first €36,000 of capital is ignored, so €34,000 (€70,000-36,000) is actually taken into account.
€34,000 at 3% is €1,020 per annum, or €19.62 a week, when you divide the yearly amount by 52.
Therefore his weekly income assessable for the medical card is €400 from
his pensions, plus €19.62 from his savings, totalling €419.62. He continues
to qualify for the over 70’s medical card.
Michael will be 70 in March 2014. He has pension income of €700 a week. His wife Helen is aged 63, and is still employed at a gross wage of €400 a week. They also have savings and investments of €150,000 which give an annual income of €6,750.
In Michael and Helen's case, they are earning 4.5% actual interest, so he can opt for the notional rate of 3% instead.
The first €72,000 of capital is ignored, so €78,000 (€150,000-72,000) is actually taken into account.
€78,000 at 3% is €2,340 per annum, or €45 a week, when you divide the yearly amount by 52.
Therefore their weekly income assessable for the medical card is €700 from Michael’s pensions, plus €400 from Helen’s job, plus €45 from their savings, totalling €1,145. Michael will qualify for the over 70’s medical card, which will include Helen.
Pauline has a net weekly income of €800, so she does not qualify for the over 70s medical card. However, she is resident in a nursing home, and pays €600 a week. She can apply for a general medical card, as she is below the income limit for a person aged 66-69 when her medical expenses are taken into account.
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.