Crystal Wealth Newsroom

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card – should you apply?

Money Tips

Do you have a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card? If you’re a self-funded retiree you can access a range of Federal Government Concessions by having one – however, Crystal Wealth Partners Senior Financial Adviser Chris Murray says a number of clients he speaks to have delayed applying for the card due to the complexity of the application process.

“If you fall into that category, it could be worth reconsidering – because the benefits you can access are well worth it,” says Chris.

“The aspect that put many people off applying in the past was the paperwork. However, now you can apply online and the My Gov site is very intuitive – it is able to access a lot of information you’ve previously provided, so it’s not as onerous a process as it once was.

“However, if you need help to understand what’s available and how you can access it, we can help.”

You can get a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card if you:

  • Are Age Pension age
  • Meet residence rules
  • Are not getting payment from Service Australia or Dept of Veteran Affairs
  • Have a Tax File Number (or hold and exemption)
  • Meet identity requirements, and
  • Meet the income test.

To be eligible for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, your income must be below the following limits.

Annual income
Single $57,761
Couples combined $92,416
Couples separated due to illness $115,522


Benefits of the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

Having a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card enables you to access a number of benefits, including cheaper medicine under the PBS (pharmaceutical benefits scheme), bulk-billed doctor visits (at the discretion of your doctor) and a refund of medical costs when you reach the Medicare safety net. States also offer concessions to cardholders – these may include energy rebates, dental, optical, home care and ambulance concessions, as well as licences, registrations and public transport concessions, too.

“During the pandemic, cardholders have also been prioritised to receive additional government support payments, and cardholders can also access 10 free rapid antigen tests (RATS) if available,” says Chris.

Given the continued uncertainty and unknowns surrounding the pandemic, and the early Federal Budget, it’s worth having a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card so you’re able to access any new incentives or support that is announced.


The Low Income Health Card

The Low Income Health Card can give access to a number of additional benefits, too. This card is also income tested but uses a different methodology. However, both include deemed income from account-based pensions, meaning you can hold substantial amounts in your account-based pension while meeting income criteria.

Income for the Low Income Health Card is assessed over an eight week period, and thresholds are as follows:

8 Weeks Annualised
Single $5152 $22,488
Couples combined $8856 $57,564


You can check your eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card here, and for the Low Income Health Care Card here. For both, you can apply via the My Gov site.

Alternatively, speak to one of the team here at Crystal Wealth Partners, who will be happy to guide you through the process and help you understand what you might be eligible for.

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