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Your PRSI gets you a free scale and polish and 300,000 availed of it so far this year

Half a million claims for dental scale and polish, free glasses and hearing aids have been made.

Image: Shutterstock/biggunsband

ALMOST HALF A million claims for a dental scale and polish, free glasses and medical devices like hearing aids have been made during first four months of 2019. 

Figures released by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection show that 451,869 claims were made from January to April this year, at a cost of €32 million to the Exchequer. 

Of this figure, there were 303,703 claims under the dental scheme. 

Workers are entitled to a full-scale and polish, and if necessary, protracted periodontal treatment, in addition to the existing free dental exam.

Scale and polish

The dental exam and treatments are available once per calendar year.

Since 2017, the scheme has been available to farmers and the self-employed who pay PRSI at class S.

The cleanings require a co-payment from the patient if the cost of the treatment charged by the dentist is in excess of the fee payable by the department.

For the scale and polish treatment, this additional payment is capped at a maximum of €15.

The cost of the offering the scale and polish under the Treatment Benefit Scheme from January to April of this year is €17,685,942.

Last year, a total 804,375 claims were made for the teeth scale and polish at a cost of €46,915,66 to the Exchequer. 

Free glasses

Under the same scheme, PRSI contributors can also get free or subsidised glasses (subsidised if upgrade to a specific design)

Under the optical scheme, a contribution towards contact lenses can also be made, while repairs to glasses are also covered under the scheme. 

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Looking at the breakdown of these figures, it shows that fewer people are making claims under the optical scheme. 

From January to April this year, 143,744 claims were made, costing €10,155,798. 

In 2018, 451,249 claims for free or subsidised glasses were made, at a cost of €32,725,636.53.

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

Again, the number of people claiming this credit is fewer than for glasses and teeth cleans. 

Just 4,422 claims have been made so far this year, costing €3,875,989

The cost of the Treatment Benefit scheme in 2018 was over €92 million. There were 1,270,313 claims made in 2018, compared with 648,675 claims in 2017.

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