Help with health insurance in Ireland

twotanks's picture
By twotanks - Posted on
06 November 2017

My wife and I are considering retiring in Ireland in 2018 (from the US). I'm 57 and she's 56. And I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around what to budget for healthcare / health insurance.

I believe we will be disqualified from the government program (medical card) due to income thresholds. If I understand correctly, we would be required to show that we have purchased private medical insurance. Is that correct? Are there ballpark figures I can assume for that insurance?

And even though we don't have the "Medical Card" would we still benefit from government subsidized healthcare?

Any resources / information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Brett Martindale's picture
Last seen: 1 year 36 weeks ago
Joined: 02/06/2017

Hi twotanks,


Thanks for getting in touch!


While we cannot give you any ballpark figures as they may change, you are right in stating that you won’t be eligible for the Medical Card. Reserved for those on low income or social welfare, as retiring expats you will probably be applying for private health insurance.


However, you will be entitled to some subsidized services if you qualify as ordinarily resident. That is, if you’ve lived or are living in Ireland for at least a year. There’s a good chance you will continue to have to pay outpatient costs. There are also schemes that may cater to you depending on whether you have chronic illnesses.


The best place to start would be while there is also a fairly basic summary of things on


Hope this helps.

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Anonymous's picture

Thanks, Brett. That's helpful. And the websites were great. I've done some preliminary research and it looks like where my wife and might be paying $15-20k / year for health insurance in the US (before we become Medicare eligible), private insurance in Ireland might only be 2k euro/yr. Unless I'm doing some thing wrong I was amazed by the difference. Perhaps it's because a large portion of basic care is provided in Ireland.

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