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  • Writer's picturePaul

Commonwealth Seniors health care card and the benefits

For those who do not qualify for the age pension due being self-funded retirees, it feels like there is not much assistance to help battle the increasing costs of living. For those of you in this position the Seniors Health Care Card can become a huge asset.


Who is eligible for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card?

To be eligible for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC), you must:


_ Be of age pension age (but not be eligible to claim an age pension or payment from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs)

- Be an Australian resident living in Australia

- Meet an income test (but not an asset test).


To be eligible, your income must be less than:


- Singles: $55,808 per year

-Couples combined (couples living together): $89,290

-Couples separated by illness, respite care, or prison: $111,616


What is the income test?

The income test for the CSHC is based on:


- Your adjusted taxable income – for the CSHC this includes your taxable income, investment losses, reportable superannuation contributions, defined benefit pension and other income.


- A deemed amount from other assets – deeming rules work out a consistent rate for the income you receive from assets. This includes savings accounts, term deposits, investments and shares.


Assistance from a financial adviser can help you work out if you qualify.


Benefits


With a CSHC you will be eligible to the following benefits:


- cheaper medicine under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

- bulk billed doctor visits - this is up to your doctor

- a bigger refund for medical costs when you reach the Medicare Safety Net.


Your state or territory government and local council may offer you more. These may include discounts on:


- electricity and gas bills

- property and water rates

- health care costs, including ambulance, dental and eye care

- public transport fare.


As you can see the CSHC can be of great benefit to you even if you do not qualify for the age pension at retirement. Centrelink will also allow you to authorise a person to act on your behalf (family member, Financial adviser etc) shall you want a little assistance with the process of applying.



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