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 Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn

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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:34 pm

cactus flower wrote:
905 wrote:
cactus flower wrote:

Agreed that this needs reform, but it is the Churches, not the teachers, that are the vested interest on this one.
Would this be the same church that announced not so long ago that it wants to get rid of the burden of running the schools?

Wan't that running, but not owning and controlling? Correct me if I'm wrong.
Well that's my understanding. I can't see where the vested interest comes into it.
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:41 pm

905 wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
905 wrote:
cactus flower wrote:

Agreed that this needs reform, but it is the Churches, not the teachers, that are the vested interest on this one.
Would this be the same church that announced not so long ago that it wants to get rid of the burden of running the schools?

Wan't that running, but not owning and controlling? Correct me if I'm wrong.
Well that's my understanding. I can't see where the vested interest comes into it.

Are the Churches proposing to give the schools to the Department of Ed?
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:43 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Yeah the whole thing needs a strategy and people need to wake the fuck up too which is what they seem to be doing but how long will that last? You can't rely on elected reps now, things have to change. More transparency or something - more teeth for the C&AG ..

That bicycle thingy - did that make the Greens look like a sorry bunch beside all these raging goings-on around them ? Not that I don't disagree with it - I think Dublin could do with a good overhaul but to announce it in a major and important budget like this ... ?

The likes of this could be a suggestion which percolates up from lobby groups and is implemented (or not) by 3-month participatory vote like the situation in Switzerland.

maybe the Big Bike lobby got to them! Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:45 pm

Oh I see what you mean, the churches own the properties as far as I know. I daresay they'll not give away that amount real estate. They'll give over the running of the schools though, and welcome. They're a church, not an education company.
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:47 pm

cactus

Nothing at all wrong with the bike grants. Neither am I belittling the proposals but they could have been implemented outside of the budget, could they not ? I think there's a need for some crowd to start introducing participatory budgets on a local level or maybe even at national level eventually. I can't believe it's still a secret the night before it's announced - what a load of patronising crap. This is the kind of thing the whole country should be debating for 6 months coming up to the event - whether to raise taxes, tax the lower-paid or take any state benefits off the rich or whatever.

There are systemic issues about the whole thing that need addressing. It can't go on like this forever - not with the spread of education and information (isn't it funny how broadband and education are always issues around here)

On the medical cards - classic quote from someone on p.ie

Quote :
I imagine Cowen/Lenihan examined their options and decided they didn't want a zimmerframe protest featuring on the Reeling in the Years episode for 2008.
HanleyS - Govt. announce reversal of proposal
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:09 pm

I'm starting to wonder if the problem hasn't gone away. pale
Last weeks limits applied to net income. The new limits apply to gross.

A poster on p.ie brings up the problem
Quote :
My aunt is 75yrs old, widowed. Her income (a good one no doubt) is €55,000 from all sources. She is resident in a private nursing home, the fees are €45,000. So she has a net income of €10,000 for all her other needs. About the same as the old age pension I would think.

As she will be over the gross income threshold on 1 January, she will lose her card I believe. If this is the case how unfair! Someone else just below the income threshold can have a card, and a reasonable standard of living, whereas she, because she is in private care, and thus saving the State a fortune, loses out, even though her net income is roughly the same as the State Pension.
I suppose she could apply under the hardship scheme?
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:20 pm

I also read on a forum that the threshold for the scheme can now be changed by executive order alone.
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:38 pm

medical card FAQ just released by Gov.


Quote :
Questions and Answers – Medical Cards for people aged 70 and over

21 October 2008


1. What have the Government announced?

The Government have announced that with effect from 1 January 2009 new income thresholds will apply for medical cards for people aged 70 and over. (The existing arrangements will continue to apply until the end of this year.)

It means everyone aged 70 or over whose gross income is less than €700 a week (€36,500 a year) if single and €1,400 a week (€73,000 a year) for a couple can now be sure they will keep their medical card.


2. How many people will keep their cards?

95% of those aged 70 or over – about 330,000 out of 350,000.


3. Will you be contacted by the HSE?

The HSE will write to all people aged 70 and over informing them about the new arrangements. Only people who have income above the limits will be asked to reply to the HSE. Everyone else will simply keep their card.

If you know your income is below the limits you don’t need to wait for the letter to arrive to be sure you are keeping your medical card.

The HSE will start sending out letters in about two weeks time.


4. Will there be a means test?

New applicants after 1 January 2009 will be subject to a means test.


5. What does income mean? Is it gross income or net income?

It is gross income, i.e. income before tax or other deductions. It is easier for people to know what their gross income is.


6. What about savings?

It is only the income from savings that matters, not the savings.

Income from savings up the first €36,000 (for a single person) and €72,000 (for a couple) are not counted.



7. What happens to people whose income is above the limit?

The HSE will write to everyone aged 70 or over. People whose gross income is above €700/€1,400 (single/couple) a week will have to declare this to the HSE.

Depending on their personal circumstances, some people above the income limits may still get a medical card under the discretionary scheme.

People who do not get a medical card under the new arrangements, will not be entitled to use their existing cards after 31 December 2008.



8. What about someone who will turn 70 after 1 January?

They will able to apply for a card in the normal way and will get a medical card if their income is below the €700/€1,400 threshold.



9. What about someone who is under 70 now and married to someone over 70?

If one member of the couple is aged 70, they will both qualify for a medical card if their income is below €1,400 a week.
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:56 pm

eoinmn wrote:
I'm starting to wonder if the problem hasn't gone away. pale
Last weeks limits applied to net income. The new limits apply to gross.

A poster on p.ie brings up the problem
Quote :
My aunt is 75yrs old, widowed. Her income (a good one no doubt) is €55,000 from all sources. She is resident in a private nursing home, the fees are €45,000. So she has a net income of €10,000 for all her other needs. About the same as the old age pension I would think.

As she will be over the gross income threshold on 1 January, she will lose her card I believe. If this is the case how unfair! Someone else just below the income threshold can have a card, and a reasonable standard of living, whereas she, because she is in private care, and thus saving the State a fortune, loses out, even though her net income is roughly the same as the State Pension.
I suppose she could apply under the hardship scheme?

Looking at that the woman has all her accommodation, food and nursing care needs paid and has another 10,000 left over. I don't think she wil be first in the queue of the hardship cases, though I would not be unsympathetic to how much her nursing home costs her.

EDIT 1 - That woman should be an existing medical card holder so she is not affected.
EDIT 2 - I stand corrected. She will be expected to notify the Department.
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:04 pm

This notifying the department carry on seems a bit peculiar. I don't want to slur my grandmother here - but there isn't a chance she'll be handing hers back unless they nab her.
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PostSubject: Re: Over 70s Medical Cards Means Test - Age Action Lines Busy - Cowen Announces U-turn   Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:17 pm

johnfás wrote:
This notifying the department carry on seems a bit peculiar. I don't want to slur my grandmother here - but there isn't a chance she'll be handing hers back unless they nab her.
Its an old style nod-and-wink fudge, alright.
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