Thursday, April 25, 2024

New Seniors health concession card limits welcomed

National Seniors Australia has welcomed changes to eligibility rules for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC).

Tens of thousands more retirees can now receive cheaper health costs and cost-of-living

The CSHC is a Federal Government concession card that provides access to cheaper medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and other federal concessions as well as concessions offered by some state and territory governments.

CSHC income test limits have now been increased to $90,000 for a single (up from $61,284) and $144,000 for couples (up from $98,054). To get the card, you must meet residency requirements, be of Age Pension age and meet an income test

National Seniors Australia Chief Advocate, Ian Henschke, has welcomed the change.

“This is good news for retirees struggling with rising living costs. Extending the CSHC card eligibility according to government calculations means an extra 44,000 retirees will now get access to concessions to help ease cost of living pressures.”

“This change came about because during the Federal Election both major parties agreed to lower the income test threshold if they won. While there were some delays in getting this through parliament, we thank the government and crossbench for finally passing this change,” he said.

“It’s important self-funded retirees check if they are eligible, because unlike the Pensioner Concession Card, the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card is not automatically issued. You must apply, and you can do this now via Centrelink.”

With this change announced, National Seniors Australia says it will step up its push to bring about changes to alleviate growing workforce shortages in the care sector.

“While we support the change to the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, there are a range of other policies the government can adopt to improve the lives of all older Australians. Changing pension income test rules to allow them to work without penalty and training more mature age workers, particularly in home care will boost the care workforce and the incomes of pensioners with limited savings,” Mr Henschke said.

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