What strategies can be used to obtain and retain the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC)?
Self-funded retirees of age pension age may be eligible for the CSHC. The CSHC offers several benefits for seniors. This article explains how eligibility for the card is determined and provides some useful strategies to help your clients obtain or retain the card.
The CSHC entitles holders to:
- Prescription medicines at concessional rates through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
- The Medicare Safety Net threshold available to Commonwealth concession card holders
- Bulk billed GP appointments (at providers discretion).
- The CSHC can also entitle holders to other concessions from state and local government authorities, including:
- Free ambulance transport in case of an emergency in New South Wales
- $200 energy rebate in New South Wales
- A once-only stamp duty concession when buying a home valued at less than $750,000 in Victoria
- A 'cost of living concession' which is a South Australian government payment towards living expenses.
Existing CSHC holders who have held the CHSC continuously since 19 September 2016 are eligible for the energy supplement. This is a quarterly payment of $92.66 for singles and $69.66 for each member of a couple. Other holders of the CSHC who are entitled to the energy supplement include:
- CSHC holders who were receiving an income support payment, including the energy supplement, on 19 September 2016 and who then subsequently become a continuous holder of the CSHC will also continue to be paid the energy supplement. Please note this is subject to successfully lodging a CSHC claim within six weeks from the day their income support payment ceased.
- Indefinite card holders, as mentioned below, who remain continuously eligible for the CSHC will also receive the energy supplement.