Health Card for Seniors

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Wally David

I’m a proud husband and father and I advise people on money for a living. My passion is educating people on their options by simplifying information into everyday language. I'm an authorised representative (318432) of Wealth Managers Pty Ltd, AFSL No. 232701.

health card for seniors

There are two main types of health card for seniors currently available:

– Low Income Health Care Card
– Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

Both cards give you discounts on prescription medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Each card also entitles you to a range of other concessions, depending on what state you reside.

Low Income Health Care Card

The Low Income Health Care Card (LIHCC) is an income-based assessment. Centrelink look at your income for the previous 8-week period prior to applying for the card.

The amount of income you can earn to qualify is different depending on your family situation. ie. Single, Couple.

To apply for the card, your income must be below the following limits:

Family SituationWeekly Income8-week period
Single (no children)$524$4,192
Couple, combined (no children)$906$7,248
Single, one dependent child$906$7,248
For each additional dependent child add$34$272

Note the limits in the above tables are current as of 1 January, 2014

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) is only available to those who have reached Age Pension age. So if you’ve not yet reached pension age, the Low Income Health Care Card is your only option.

The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card is based on taxable income.  However from 1 January 2015, deeming will apply to superannuation pensions, such as account-based pensions, for the purpose of the income test for both health cards.

Grandfathering will mean deeming will not apply to existing CSHC holders who had an account-based pension prior to 1 January 2015. However, if you change your account-based pension to a new product after 1 January 2015, deeming will apply to the new pension.

Neither card is subject to an assets test. This means they may be an alternative to those retirees whose assets are too high for an Age Pension.

No grandfathering will apply for LIHCC holders.

For more information regarding the 1 January 2015 changes, please see my related post.


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