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Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019

There were over one million claims for free dental and eye care through the new PRSI agreement

Over one million claims were made by employees paying PRSI social insurance a with over 190,000 claims made by self-employed people.

Image: Shutterstock/Jacob Lund

SOCIAL PROTECTION MINISTER Regina Doherty today announced that over 1.25 million claims were made for dental and optical support in 2018 according to her Department’s latest figures.

Over one million claims were made by employees paying PRSI social insurance a with over 190,000 claims made by self-employed people paying their own contributions.

These figures compares with a total of 659,115 claims made in 2017.

Treatment Benefits were extended to the self-employed and their dependent spouses/partners in March 2017 and further improvements to the scheme were made and available to both employed and self-employed contributors from the end of October 2017.

Currently, there some 2.5 million PRSI contributors, comprising employees and self-employed who may have an entitlement to claim treatment benefits for both themselves and their dependent spouse or partner.

Minister Doherty said: “The extension of the treatment benefits and the expansion of the scheme together with the online application facility ‘Welfare Partners’ have made the scheme more accessible and I would hope that this trend continues in 2019.

“I am pleased to see that last year so many availed of these benefits earned through their PRSI contributions. I would remind all PRSI contributors to avail of these benefits during 2019.”

The optical scheme covers the provision of glasses, either free or subsidised if an upgraded design is chosen, or provides a contribution towards contact lenses. Repairs to glasses are also covered under the scheme.

The dental scheme includes a contribution to cleaning, either an annual scale and polish or more extensive periodontal treatment if clinically required. The cleaning requires a co-payment from the patient if the cost of the treatment charged by the dentist is in excess of the amount payable by the Department. For the simpler scale and polish treatment this additional co-payment is capped at a maximum of €15. A free annual dental examination is also available

Benefits available under the medical appliance scheme include a payment of 50% towards the cost of a hearing aid, up to a maximum payment of €500 per aid.

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