Change to Commonwealth Seniors Health Card eligibility

Current and prospective holders of the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card should be aware of changes made to the eligibility requirements of this entitlement. The income test that applies to this entitlement is being expanded to include tax-free superannuation income streams and lump sums (superannuation benefits) of you and your partner.

The measure will not affect current card holders who have a tax-free superannuation benefits introduced before January 1, 2015. However, where a person temporarily loses entitlement to their card after that date, any tax-free superannuation benefits (even one that arose before January 1, 2015) will be included for the purposes of determining their eligibility to the replacement or new card.

Please also note that where a member of a couple is not yet entitled to a card after this date, but had a tax-free superannuation benefit commence before then, these rules may apply to the couple. The relevant tax-free superannuation benefit in this situation will not be used to determine the eligibility of the existing cardholder; however this benefit will be used to determine the income test eligibility of the member of the couple who did not hold a card as of January 1, 2015.

The other implication is that where either member of a couple enters into a tax-free superannuation income stream or receives a lump sum after this date, this income will be included for the purpose of both member’s eligibility to a card, whether it be an existing card or a new card, being applied for after January 1.