Notes on the data: Income support
Seniors Health Card holders, June 2017
Policy context: The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (SHC) entitls older Australians to access cheaper prescription medicines, Australian government funded medical services, and certain other concessions . To qualify for the SHC, a person must have reached Age Pension age (65 years and 6 months from 1 July 2017) but not qualify for a payment from the Department of Human Services or the Department of Veterans' Affairs; meet an income test (have adjusted taxable income of less than $54, 929 for singles or $87, 884 for couples (combined) with special rules applying if a couple lives apart due to illness and/or have dependent children); and be an Australian resident or have a special category visa. Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders may benefit from:
- medicines listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) at the concessional rate and once they reach the PBS safety net, will usually be supplied with further PBS prescriptions without charge for the remainder of the calendar year;
- bulk-billed GP appointments (at the discretion of the doctor);
- reduced out-of-hospital medical expenses above a concessional threshold through the extended Medicare Safety Net:
- discounted rail travel on Great Southern Rail services (includes the Indian Pacific, the Ghan, and the Overland); and
- Seniors Supplement (replaced Seniors Concession Allowance and Telephone Allowance).
State/ territory and local governments and some private providers may offer some additional health, household, transport, education and recreation concessions .
- Australian Government Department of Human Services (DHS). Commonwealth Seniors Health Card [Internet] [cited 2018 Nov 16]. Available from: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/age-pension/eligibility
- Australian Government Department of Social Services (DSS). Commonwealth Seniors Health Card [Internet]. [cited 2018 Nov 16]. Available from: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/commonwealth-seniors-health-card/eligibility/benefits
Notes: The Seniors Health Card gives older Australians access to cheaper prescription medicines, Australian government funded medical services, and other government concessions. People eligible for a Seniors Health Card must have reached Age Pension age but do not qualify for a payment by the Department of Human Services or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
PHA data may be the sum of freely available SA2 data if the publication of PHA data could reveal the value of confidentialised cells at the SA2 level. For these indicators, the number of people receiving this payment may be undercounted by up to four persons or either persons if two indicators are added together such as total unemployment which is the sum of Newstart and Youth allowance.
Data cells with less than 5 counts were removed (confidentialised).
The data excludes details of Pensioner Concession Card holders.
Geography: Data available by Population Health Area, Local Government Area, Primary Health Network, Quintiles and Remoteness Areas
Numerator: People in receipt of a Seniors Health Card from the Department of Human Services at June 2017
Denominator: People aged 65 years and over at June 2017
Detail of analysis: Per cent
Source: Compiled by PHIDU based on data from the Department of Social Services, June 2017; and ABS Estimated Resident Population, 30 June 2017