Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

Purpose

The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card assists eligible people who have reached the qualifying age for Age Pension with certain health and prescription costs.

The card also provides access to the Seniors Supplement.

Qualification

To qualify for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card a person must:

  • have reached the qualifying age for Age Pension (currently 64 years and 6 months for women, and 65 years for men);
  • be an Australian citizen, a holder of a permanent visa, or a Special Category Visa holder and have been in Australia for a period of, or periods totalling, 104 weeks;
  • not be receiving a social security pension or benefit, a Department of Veterans' Affairs service pension, or an income support supplement;
  • have an annual adjusted taxable income of less than:
    • $50 000 for singles;
    • $80 000 for couples (combined income); and
    • $100 000 (combined) for couples separated by illness, respite care, or gaol.
    • $639.60 per year is added for each dependent child.

There is no assets test.

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Benefits for Cardholders

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders may benefit from:

  • medicines listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) at the concessional rate and once they reach the PBS safety net, will usually be supplied with further PBS prescriptions without charge for the remainder of the calendar year;
  • bulk-billed GP appointments (at the discretion of the doctor);  
  • reduced out-of-hospital medical expenses above a concessional threshold through the extended Medicare Safety Net:
  • discounted rail travel on Great Southern Rail services (includes the Indian Pacific, the Ghan, and the Overland);
  • Seniors Supplement (replaced Seniors Concession Allowance and Telephone Allowance).

State / territory and local governments and some private providers may offer some additional health, household, transport, education and recreation concessions.

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Changes to the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card income test

From 1 July 2009, the adjusted taxable income test for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card was expanded to include:

  • reportable superannuation contributions, including income voluntarily salary sacrificed to superannuation; and
  • total net investment losses, which includes any net rental property loss and net financial investment loss (previously only net rental property loss was included).

The changes ensure that cardholders with similar levels of income, but who derive their income from different sources, have the income test applied to them in a similar way.

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Further information

For further information or to apply for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card please contact Centrelink on 13 2300 or visit the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card section of the Centrelink website.

 

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