Over 1.25 million Claims for PRSI based Dental & Optical Benefit Supports in 2018


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Over 1.25 million Claims for PRSI based Dental & Optical Benefit Supports in 2018

Thursday, 10th January 2019

 

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, T.D., today announced that over 1.25 million claims were made for Dental and Optical supports (Treatment Benefits) in 2018 according to her Department’s latest figures. This compares with a total of 659,115 claims made in 2017.

 

Some 1.08 million claims were made by employees paying PRSI social insurance at Classes A, E, H and P with over 190,000 claims made by self-employed people paying PRSI Class S contributions.
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. 

 

Details on the applications for Treatment Benefits awarded during 2018 were as follows:

Scheme
 Details

Number of
applications awarded

Expenditure

Dental

804,735

€46.91m

Optical

451,249

€32.72m

Medical Appliance e.g.
Hearing aid

14,689

€12.74m

Total

1,270,313

€93.38m


Currently, there are 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 for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, T.D., today commented:
 
“The extension of the Treatment Benefits and the expansion of the scheme together with the online application facility ‘WelfarePartners’ 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.

The cost of the Treatment Benefits scheme for the full year of 2018 was €93.38 million, compared with €32.86 million in 2017. This almost threefold increase in 2018 reflects the extension of the scheme to dependent spouses/partners and the self-employed from March 2017 and the further improvements made to the scheme in October 2017.

Notes to Editors:
Full details on the Treatment Benefits scheme and how to apply are available on the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection’s website at the following link:

 http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/Treatment-Benefit1.aspx.

ENDS
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

 

Last modified:10/01/2019