Notes on the data: Income support

Seniors Health Card holders, June 2014

 

Policy context:  In 2014, the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (SHC) entitled older Australians to access cheaper prescription medicines, Australian government funded medical services, and certain other concessions [1]. To qualify for the SHC, a person must have reached Age Pension age (currently 64 years and 6 months for women, and 65 years for men) 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 $50,000 for singles or $80,000 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 [2].

References

  1. Australian Government Department of Human Services (DHS). Commonwealth Seniors Health Card [Internet] [cited 2014 Sep 11]. Available from: http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/commonwealth-seniors-health-card
  2. Australian Government Department of Social Services (DSS). Commonwealth Seniors Health Card [Internet]. [cited 2014 Sep 11]. Available from: https://www.dss.gov.au/our-responsibilities/seniors/publications-articles/commonwealth-seniors-health-card-cshc-fact-sheet
 

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.

The data excludes details of Pensioner Concession Card holders.

 

Numerator:  People in receipt of a Seniors Health Card from the Department of Human Services

 

Denominator:  People aged 65 years and over

 

Detail of analysis:  Per cent

 

Source:  Compiled by PHIDU based on data from the Department of Social Services, June 2014; and ABS Estimated Resident Population, 30 June 2013.

 

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