Medical cards safe for Rent-a-Room scheme landlords

by Rachel Cunningham
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Landlords in the Rent-a-Room scheme will not face any impacts on their medical card under proposed legislation approved by the government this week, a Fine Gael TD for Dublin Mid West has stressed.

“Individuals, particularly pensioners, who are hesitant to rent out rooms due to fears of losing their medical card, can now be reassured that this will not be the case,” said Emer Higgins.

The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, has received approval from Cabinet to release the final draft of the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2024. 

“This bill, when it passes, will guarantee that Rent-a-Room income is not counted when applying for medical cards and GP visit cards and I believe this will benefit a lot of people, especially old age pensioners in my community who want to make some extra money,” said Ms Higgins.

“I also really welcome how this bill will help support students and young professionals looking for accommodation.

“The Rent-a-Room Relief permits tax-free earnings up to €14,000 per year for those renting out a room in their home.

Previously, this income was considered in determining eligibility for a medical card but this will no longer the case.

“Students and young professionals who need to relocate for their studies or jobs can benefit from living in a household as ‘digs’, which is a safe and affordable option.

“The Rent a Room scheme encourages both the homeowners and the renters to choose this arrangement.”

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