John Deeks: Its John Deeks and Kaye Fallick from YourLifeChoices. Kaye, what am I holding in my hand?
Kaye Fallick: Your holding a seniors card.
JD: Yeah, that’s my seniors card and I’m very, very happy and proud to have my seniors card. Uh, but uh, I know that there’s a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card available.
JD: What is it? And can I have one please?
KF: Well, John, I think if you were totally on the ball.
JD: Yes. Which of course, I’m not.
KF: I sit here, you would know about this.
JD: Tell me.
KF: It’s for self-funded retirees.
KF: So there’s two cards for people who aren’t qualifying for Centrelink benefits for the age pension. Now to go off topic one is the low-income health care card. And that is literally for people on a low income, they can get a card which allows them to get discounts on prescription medicines, some additional health benefits, and sometimes household, transport, education or recreation concessions. Now they might be provided by state governments as well. So that’s for people who aren’t getting an age pension, but they are on a low income. And sometimes the thresholds change and most people aren’t aware of that. So it’s a good idea for people and we’ll put links up to check what the threshold is, what is a low income, so they can figure out if they’ll get that. Now let’s cut to the other card which is the Commonwealth Seniors Health Care card. Now commonly people call this the CSHC because it’s such a mouthful. And this is for self-funded retirees John who are of age pension age now 66.
KF: And there are thresholds. So if their annual adjusted taxable income is below $55,808 for singles, $89,290 for combined couples then they will get this card and self-funded retirees think this is gold. This is pure gold because, cause it enables them to get all the benefits again on PBS medicines and health and transport and so on. So I’m not sure if it’s still the case, but back in the day, you’d get a discount on the Ghan and the Indian Pacific. This is a lot of money.
JD: Yeah sure. Absolutely.
KF: So as I said, people say it can, can be worth up to $6000 a year. Um, it’s a recognition that people who are self funded have worked hard and have saved money. Yeah. And it’s a recognition of the fact that they too would like a benefit from the state to, uh, manage their money better.
JD: Okay. So, uh, just, just recap again, to qualify for this particular card, you must?
KF: As a single. On your taxable income, it must be below $55,808. Combined couple $89,290. And then there’s couples separated due to ill health, a combined amount of $111,616.
JD: Where do you go to find out more?
KF: Well, you go to YourLifeChoices, which lists the terms and conditions and links you through to being able to apply for this card. And the advice I had from someone who worked at Centrelink for a hundred years last night was you apply for both of these cards. You apply for the low income and you apply for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card and pretty soon it will be worked out, which is for you. So, don’t sit there going ‘oh, I think I could get this, that or the other’ – simply apply because the rules change. And you may now be eligible, and you weren’t last week. A lot of people do not know about this card, particularly pre-retirees so have it on your radar because if you start retirement with something that saves you a few thousand every year, wow.
JD: Why not? YourLifeChoices has the link. The card is called?
KF: The Commonwealth Seniors Health Care card.