Did you know that, in Ireland, you can claim back medical expenses like visits to the doctor and related doctor expenses? You can also claim back doctor expenses for any dependents whose medical bills you pay, including children. The system of claiming back doctor expenses allows you to recoup some of the cost, but not all monies spent. It is also possible to claim back expenses from the last four years if you have not yet claimed for them.
How To Claim Doctor Expenses In Ireland
Previously in Ireland, the system of claiming back doctor expenses used something called a Med 1 form. This system has now changed and, instead, claims can be made using the following three methods.
Claiming Back Doctor Expenses As Real Time
PAYE taxpayers can claim doctor expenses in real time online. To claim back doctor expenses in real time you will need the receipt(s), see below for more on this. A real time claim can be made the day that you visited the doctor or in the proceeding days and weeks.
How to make a real time doctor expenses claim:
- Log in to your myAccount section of the revenue.ie website
- Go to the Receipts Tracker
- Select the option to add a new receipt
In this section, you will be prompted to add the details of your claim, such as the cost and category. You will need to do this for each receipt. You will also be asked if you have or if you expect to receive reimbursement from a third party. This includes rebates from the HSE, your health insurance or even a local/public authority.
With all the details completed and confirmed, you will be prompted to upload the receipt and then submit the claim. There is no limit to how many doctor expense receipts you can submit a claim for.
2. Claiming Back Doctor Expenses Annually
If you are a PAYE taxpayer, you can also choose to submit your doctor expenses altogether each year. This is done using an Income Tax Return. Your income Income Tax Return can be completed on your myAccount section of the revenue website. Here, you must select the correct sections e.g. Tax Credits and Health expenses. You will be prompted to add the details of each claim and then submit them as one claim.
For self-assessed individuals, the process of claiming back doctor expenses is slightly different. Instead of using the myAccount section, you instead use the ROS section of revenue.ie. From here the steps are similar to the above and you enter your doctor’s expenses into an Income Tax Return.
If you are claiming expenses for your family, all PAYE or self-assessed adults should make their own claims in myAccount. Claims for family members under 18’s can be added by a parent or caregiver to their own claim submission.
3. Claiming Back Doctor Expense Through Private Health Insurance
Many people in Ireland also have private health insurance. This is not mandatory in Ireland but can help reduce doctor’s expenses and any hospital fees that occur.
Each health insurer is different and will help you understand how to make a claim when you sign up with them. Customarily, the process is similar to making a claim from revenue and can be done in real time or annually. Ordinarily, these claims can be made using a private portal on their website too. Note that some health insurers have a deadline for when claims must be made by in any given year.
Health Insurers In Ireland include:
If you’re not sure which health insurer best suits your needs, a comparison website like Bonkers.ie may be helpful.
Claim Again On What Insurers Don’t Cover
After receiving repayments of doctor expenses from your health insurance provider, you can claim for expenses they did not cover. This time the claim is made through your tax account. So, for example, if your doctor’s expenses were €120 and your insurer covered €80, you can make a claim on the remaining €40.
It is advisable to submit your health insurance claims before your claims to Revenue. That way you will know how much is not covered by the insurer before submitting the Revenue claim.
What You Need To Claim Doctor Expenses
It is advisable to ask for a receipt every time you pay for a doctor’s visit. This can be a printed receipt or a receipt emailed to you from the doctor’s surgery. The receipt should clearly show:
- The name and details of the doctor’s surgery
- The reason for your visit (e.g. Blood tests, check-ups, scans)
- Your name and address
- The cost of the visit and the treatment received
- The date of your doctor’s visit
- Confirmation that you paid in full
If you plan to claim doctor expenses annually, keep these receipts together somewhere safe until you need them. Without a receipt, you can not make a claim. Ensure that you also keep receipts for any dependents whose doctor expenses you pay.
Any receipts that you submit a claim for should be stored carefully for six years. On occasion, the tax office will spot-check individuals and request all receipts. To make this easier, they have created a Receipts Tracker portal in the myAccount section of the revenue website. This is a section of your online tax account where you can upload receipts for safekeeping,
How Much You Can Claim Back On Doctor Expenses
The amount that you will be reimbursed for doctor expenses varies. For claims submitted to Revenue tax relief is given at the standard rate of 20%. This is the same whether you submit claims using the real time or annual Income Tax Return method.
Different health insurers have different rates of reimbursement for doctor expenses and other expenses. They might, for example, offer a nominal value such as €50 back on each doctor’s visit. With some insurers, this will be for a set amount of visits. For example, they might offer €50 cash back for up to three visits a year. In this scenario, you could receive up to €150 back a year. Remember though, that any further visits/claims they do not cover, you can claim back from Revenue.
- Total visits to a doctor in one year = 5 visits
- Total cost of doctor expenses from above = €400
- Number of visits reimbursed by insurer = 3 visits to the value of €50 per visit
- Therefore, you will receive €150 of the €400, leaving €250.
- The remaining €250 worth of doctor expenses can be submitted as claims to Revenue for a further 20% back
How Long Does It Take To Receive A Claim On Doctor Expenses In Ireland?
The average time between a doctor expenses claim being submitted and payment being made is 5 – 21 days. To speed up the process, make sure that you have submitted all required details correctly.
Dr. O’Donoghue has a keen interest in Sports Medicine and has completed a Masters Degree in Sports and exercise medicine from University College Cork achieving an honours degree. He has also done additional training in Neurofunctional Acupuncture from McMaster University in Hamilton Canada. He has completed the FIFA Football Medicine Diploma and is a trained provider of the EMS Swiss Dolorclast method for ESWT (extracorporeal shockwave therapy).