Know Your Rights: Prescription Charges

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Know Your Rights has been compiled by Kerry Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public…

Question: I have a medical card but I seem to be paying more than the monthly cap for prescription charges for my family. Why would this happen and how can I get a refund? 

Answer: If you have a medical card, there is a charge for each prescription item you receive.

The prescription charge is €2.50, up to a maximum of €25 per month per person or family.

For medical card holders over the age of 70 there is a reduced prescription charge, from 1 March 2017, of €2 per item up to a maximum of €20 per month.

Usually your pharmacy keeps records of how much you have paid in prescription charges and makes sure that you do not pay more than the limit each month.

However, you may use different pharmacies in the same month, or your family members may not be set up as a family group, and you may end up paying more than the maximum.

If this happens, the Health Service Executive (HSE) will issue a refund without the need for you to apply for it.

This is done on the basis of the information received from pharmacies. Refunds are issued every six months for amounts over €10. Amounts that are less than €10 are carried over to the next refund date.

You can set up your family as a family group on and print off a family certificate to give to your pharmacist.

This will show all of the members of your family so that your pharmacy will not collect charges above the monthly limit.

Your family is defined as you, your spouse or partner, any children under 16 years of age and any children between 16 and 21 years of age who are in full-time education.

If you do not have access to the internet you can ask your Local Health Office to help with setting up a family group. You can also call the HSE on 1890 252 919 or ask your local pharmacist who may be able to help you.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

• Contact us in Tralee on Tel: 0761 07 7860 Killarney 0761 07 7820, Listowel 0761 07 7840 Kenmare 0761 07 7810, Killorglin 0761 07830 & Caherciveen 0761 07 7780.

Information is also available online at and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000


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