What are the differences between concession cards?

Sue wants to know the difference between the Pensioner Concession Card and the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

•••

Q. Sue
I read your article on eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card and wanted to know how that card differed from the Pensioner Concession Card? Which card is better?

A. The Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) enables more benefits than the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC), but it obviously has greater restrictions on eligibility.

Pensioner Concession Cards are issued by Centrelink to those receiving and Age Pension, Disability Support Pension or Carer Payment. You may also be eligible for a Pensioner Concession Card if you are over 60 years of age and have been receiving any of the following payments for at least nine months:

– Newstart Allowance
– 
Sickness Allowance
– 
Widow Allowance
– 
Special Benefit
– 
Partner Allowance. 

As the holder of a Pensioner Concession Card, you are entitled to reduced-cost medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and various state and territory government concessions, such as reductions on property and water rates, energy bills, motor vehicle registration and public transport. State and territory governments and local councils offer different concessions. There is also assistance offered with hearing services.

Self-funded retirees who are of Age Pension age but do not qualify for the Age Pension, may be eligible for a CSHC if their annual adjusted taxable income is below the following thresholds:

– $55,808 (singles)
– $89,290 (couples combined)
– 
$111,616 (couples separated due to ill-health).

CSHC holders are eligible for similar discounts to PBS medicines, but bulk-billed doctor visits are at the discretion of your doctor. There are also concessions on electricity, gas, water, dental and public transport in line with what is offered in your state and territory for holders of a PCC.

CSHC holders also receive a bigger refund for medical costs when they reach the Medicare Safety Net.

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Written by Ben

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