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Health minister hints pensioners earning over €18,000 a year may have to pay more for prescriptions
11 January 2017 @ 12:43

NATIONAL health authorities want pensioners earning over €18,000 a year before tax to make a higher contribution to their prescription charges – which were free until just over four years ago.

At present, those earning less than €18,000 pay 10% of their prescriptions up to a maximum of €8.26 a month, whilst anyone whose income ranges from €18,001 to €100,000 a year contributes a maximum of 13% per month.

For the working-age population, prescriptions come in at 10% for those on a gross income of €18,000 or less, and an eye-watering 50% for those earning between €18,001 and €100,000, with no cap on costs – up from 10% prior to autumn 2012.

'Pensioners' does not just mean retirees whose earnings come from their State pot, but also covers those earning a permanent disability, widow's or widower's, family support, or orphan's pension, and the average figure across all of these is around €900.50 a month.

For State retirement pensions only, the average monthly figure is €1,038.93, paid over 14 months – a double packet in summer and at Christmas – and those whose annual pension is €18,000 a year will be taking home a monthly figure of €1,286.

Without a mortgage, this is enough for a lone pensioner to live comfortably and a couple, both earning the same, to live very well, but old age means prescriptions go up in quantity and frequency, eating away into the household budget – plus, with the unemployment crisis, numerous retirees are now supporting their children and even grandchildren out of their pension, often having them living in their homes.



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marcbernard said:
13 January 2017 @ 12:23

For those pensioners who live in the Valencian Community our prescriptions have been available totally free of charge for quite some time now. I understand that the fees are not dependent on the policy of central government.

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