Snags encountered in other autonomous communities when co-payment for prescriptions came into force on July 1 are not expected here.
Around half a million of Andalucia’s 1,679,801 pensioners get through more than five prescriptions a month, according to Health Department statistics, and many will now pay something towards them.
Co-payment is directly linked to income, and those on Spain’s lowest, non-contributory pensions pay nothing at all.
Pensioners on an annual income of less than €18,000 pay 10 per cent, as do those with annual incomes of between €18,000 and €100,000.
The difference is that the lower income group will not pay more than €8 in any one month while those with up to €100,000 pay a maximum of €18.
Pensioners whose income tops €100,000 can expect to pay 60 per cent of prescription costs up to €60 a month. Under the old regulations, however, they were already charged 40 per cent.
In the majority of autonomous regions, amounts paid out over each individual’s limit will eventually be reimbursed to their bank accounts. In Andalucia, however, once the chemist’s computer indicates that the limit has been reached, a pensioner pays nothing for the rest of that month.
Eighty-five per cent - 1,414,873 – of the region’s pensioners will not pay more than €8 per month, the Health Department revealed. A further 260,895 come into the second category and 4,033 – just 0.2 per cent of the total – into the third.