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Health care and concession cards

Updated

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What are the different cards available and are you eligible?

Australians are lucky to have access to a range of concessions, which provide them with access to numerous discounted medical and health services.

These services include:

Health Care Card

The Health Care Card is a concession card available to some Australians that can provide access to cheaper medicines and concessions on services such as ambulance, dental and eye care.

Health Care Card eligibility requires you to live in Australia and receive:

  • Carer Allowance for a child under 16 – the card is for the child in your care only
  • Carer Payment for short-term or irregular care less than six months
  • Farm Household Allowance
  • Mobility Allowance if you’re not receiving Disability Support Pension
  • Newstart Allowance
  • Parenting Payment partnered
  • Partner Allowance
  • Sickness Allowance
  • Special Benefit
  • The highest rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A
  • Widow Allowance
  • Youth Allowance as a job seeker

One beneficial aspect of the Health Care Card is it requires no application. If you’re eligible you’ll receive a card.

hcc act

Low Income Health Care Card

Aussies earning below varying thresholds are eligible to the Low Income Health Care Card, which provides them with:

  • Access to bulk-billed doctors visits
  • Larger refund once you’ve hit Medicare Safety Net
  • Discounted medicine under the PBS

Depending on where you live, your state might also offer you discounted power bills, rego and public transport costs.

Below are the thresholds that you’ll need to fall below depending on your living situation:

StatusWeekly incomeIncome in an 8-week period
Single, no children$552.00$4,416.00
Couple combined, no children$954.00$7,632.00
Single, one dependent child$954.00$7,632.00
For each extra child, add$34.00$272.00

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card is available to Australians once they reach pension age, which varies depending on the year you were born:

If your birthdate isEligible at
1 July 1952 to 31 December 195365 years and 6 months
1 January 1954 to 30 June 195566 years
1 July 1955 to 31 December 195666 years and 6 months
From 1 January 195767 years

From 1 July 2017 pension age will be 65 years and six months and will go up six months every two years until 1 July 2023.

Just like the Low Income Health Care Card, those with a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card can access bulk-billed doctors, get increase refunds once they hit the Medicare Safety Net and cheaper medicines under the PBS.

Pensioners Concession Card

Those with a Pensioners Concession Card can access cheaper medicine under the PBS, bulk bill doctors (depending on your doctor), receive increased refunds once they’ve met the Medicare Safety Net and get help with hearing services.

To be eligible for a Pensioner Concession Card you must be on:

  • Age Pension
  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Carer Payment
  • Disability Support Pension
  • Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance
  • Parenting Payment single

You’re also eligible if you’re over the age of 60 and have been receiving one of the following benefits for nine months or more:

  • Newstart Allowance
  • Parenting Payment partnered
  • Partner Allowance
  • Sickness Allowance
  • Special Benefit
  • Widow Allowance

Foster Child Health Care Card

If you are a foster carer or are currently looking after someone else's child, you’ll be eligible for the Foster Child Health Care Card, which provides you with access to cheaper medicines through the PBS and some discounts for foster children in your care. These concessions vary from state to state.

Ex-carer Allowance (Child) Health Care Card

The Ex-carer Allowance (Child) Health Care Card is available to Australians who are full-time students between the ages of 16 and 25, and it provides recipients with more affordable medications and some other discounts. The Ex-carer Allowance (child) Health Care Card is not means-tested.

Picture: Pexels and Humanservices.gov.au

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