More fully self-funded retirees qualify for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

You may now be eligible after increases to the income threshold for the Card, which can save couples up to $4,000 a year on health costs.

The income threshold for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, which was indexed in line with inflation on 20 September, sees the threshold for singles rise to $95,400 from $90,000, and to $152,640 for couples, from $144,000.

This is “adjusted taxable income”, which is mostly made up of taxable income on your tax return, plus the “deemed” income from an account-based pension. Deeming is a percentage that is applied to the account balance, as set by the Federal Government.

To be eligible for the card, as well as being under the income thresholds, you must be at least 67, the Age Pension age, and not receiving the Age Pension or any other income support payment. There is no assets test.

The card is estimated to be worth up to $4,000 a year, for a couple, but the precise amount will vary, depending on how much use is made of the concessions, which extend beyond just health-related concessions.

The Seniors Health Card gives self-funded retirees cheaper medicine under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and bulk-billed doctor visits, as doctors have a financial incentive to bulk bill cardholders.

There is also a lower out-of-pocket threshold after which the Government reimburses medical expenses.

Income Test

To meet the income test, you must earn less than the following:

  • $95,400 a year if you’re single
  • $152,640 a year for couples
  • $190,800 a year for couples separated by illness, respite care or prison.

There is no assets test.

Find out more HERE.

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A special thanks to our contributors



Caroline has a wealth of experience writing within the retirement and aged care sector and is a contributing journalist for the and agedcare101 blog and accompanying newsletters.

Ian Horswill


Ian is a journalist, writer and sub-editor for the aged care sector, working at The DCM Group. He writes for The Weekly Source, agedcare101, and the DCM Institute fortnightly newsletter Friday. Ian is in daily contact with CEOs of retirement living, land lease and the aged care operations and makes a new contact every week. He investigates media releases, LinkedIn and Facebook for a good source for ideas for stories.

Lauren Broomham

Retirement and Aged Care Journalist

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

Jill Donaldson


Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.