Access to the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

More self-funded retirees will be helped to ease their cost of living pressures with changes to the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card now legislated.

Expanded access to the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

Legislation to increase the income thresholds for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) to $90,000 for singles and $144,000 for couples (combined) has received Royal Assent. The new thresholds will be effective from 4 November 2022.

Clients who are now eligible should submit their application for the card as soon as possible.

Eligibility for CSHC

The income test for the CSHC card is based on adjusted taxable income and deemed income on account-based pensions (excluding grandfathered account-based pensions). The combination of the increase in the income thresholds and freezing of the deeming rates will increase the number of client’s eligible for the card.

The income thresholds will increase as follows:

Family situation

Old threshold

Proposed threshold




Couple (combined)



Couple separated by illness, respite care or prison (combined)



The increase for each child is unchanged at $639.60.

Other changes to income threshold indexation

The income thresholds for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) will continue to be indexed on 20 September each year based on annual indexation figures.

What are the benefits of the CSHC?

The CSHC which offers many benefits for seniors including;

  • Prescription medicines at concessional rates through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS);
  • the Medicare Safety Net threshold available to Commonwealth concession card holders; and
  • bulk billed GP appointments (at providers discretion).

This card can also entitle card holders to other concessions from state and local government authorities such as:

  • 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
  • ‘Cost of living concession’ being a payment to assist towards living expenses in South Australia.

The CSHC can provide many discounts for self-funded retirees. The increases in the income threshold means that if your income was too high in the past you may now be eligible for this valuable card.

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