Social Welfare

Medical Card Scheme

Community Ophthalmic Services Scheme – Health Service Executive (HSE)

If you hold a current full medical card, you are entitled to a free standard eye examination at least every two years. There may be clinical reasons for more frequent examinations.

You are also entitled to select a pair of spectacles at no charge (from a limited range of frames).

You must obtain approval in advance from the Local Health Office that issued your Medical Card – this is usually the one covering the area where you live. It can take about 2 weeks to get approval.

Optical Benefit Scheme – Department of Social & Family Affairs (DSFA)

You may be entitled to a free standard eye examination at least every two years. There may be clinical reasons for more frequent examinations.

The benefit scheme no longer provides for a limited range of spectacles at no charge. However we have put together a special deal for those who find it difficult to afford spectacles and will supply a complete pair of spectacles including standard single vision lenses for a total cost of €65. We hope this will soften the financial implications for those who want to continue to experience the best in eye care while keeping their cost down.

If you wish to avail of the free eye examination, you must get approval from the DSFA. We have the application forms in each practice and can make the application on your behalf once we have your PPS number. Once approved, you can go ahead and book your eye examination. Decisions are normally made by the department within a day or two.

The scheme has recently changed in Budget 2010 and the guidance below may change.

Eligibility Criteria: ( Per DSFA @ 04/06/2009)

Qualifying Conditions in Summary

  • A person must have a certain number of PRSI contributions paid to qualify for Optical Benefit, either 39 or 260 according to the age of the insured person.
  • For persons over 21 years of age, with certain exceptions, 39 contributions must also have been paid or credited in the relevant tax year(s).
  • Qualified Adults (spouses or partners of qualified insured persons and subject to dependency conditions) are also entitled to Optical Benefit.