20 July 2022
Change to Treatment Benefit Scheme for contact lenses
The minister for social protection has announced enhanced grants of up to €1,000 towards the cost of medically required contact lenses. The grants, currently provided every four years, will be made available every two years for employees and the self-employed, with immediate effect. This is provided under the Treatment Benefit Scheme (TBS) and ensures similar support to those who access TBS for a pair of spectacles.
Minister Heather Humphries said she was "delighted to introduce these changes" and added: "Contact lenses can be a costly expense, and this measure is designed to assist people who require specialised lenses for medical reasons." She promised to "continue to examine what further changes we can make to this important scheme so that more of our citizens can benefit".
The minister previously announced changes to the TBS, meaning people aged 25-28 only need to work for nine months before accessing dental, optical and aural treatments.
Daniel Hodgson, head of policy and public affairs at FODO Ireland, said: "While these enhancements are welcome - improving patient access to benefits - we also need to improve patient access to care. We are calling on the health minister and HSE to fulfil the commitment to bring further services into community optometry - reducing waiting times to receive eye care, providing care closer to patients, and reducing the number of people on waiting lists for more specialised eye care in hospitals."
Read the full press release here.