An additional 215,000 people are eligible to access free GP care from today.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has announced the opening of applications for the GP visit cards for newly eligible people.
It is the first of two phases to provide free care by GPs to an estimated 430,000 people with the second phase in November.
It will be the biggest increase in eligibility for free GP care in the history of the State, covering up to 500,000 people.
Stephen Donnelly said this is part of a Government expansion into health care.
"It's a really important measure. It's part of an expansion we're in the middle of. Half a million GP cards, so we've already gone live with GP cards for every six and seven-year-old in the country, that was in August.
"We are including every household up to the median income. That is about 430,000 people."
He urged people to go to the HSE website and put in their details to see if they qualify for the new scheme.
Mr Donnelly added: "A single person who is renting with no children, on an income of around €40,000. A couple with children with a mortgage with one income, about €53,000.
"A couple with two children, a mortgage and childcare costs, about €63,000... they would qualify.
"I would encourage anyone to go and take a look, put in your own figures, your financial information, and see."