Reduced health costs and concessions for Self-Funded Retirees

Thursday, October 21, 2021

As part of their retirement plan, some self-funded retirees are entitled to the CSHC (Commonweath Seniors Health Card) and can receive discounts on their health costs as well as various other concessions.

Health Concessions: CSHCard holders will receive the concession rate for medicines listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). This would be a maximum of $6.60 for each medicine listed on the PBS and if you reach the safety net threshold ($316.80), your medicine would be free for the rest of the calendar year.

CSHC holders are also entitled to the lower concessional Extended Medicare Safety Net (EMSN) threshold of $697.00 for out-of-hospital medical expenses. If you reach this level of expenditure on medical costs, then you are entitled to be refunded the lower of 80% of further out-of-pocket costs (or the EMSN benefit cap for that medical item).

At the discretion of your doctor, you may also receive bulk-billed doctor visits. Your Doctor would then receive a higher payment from Medicare for their service to you.

General Concessions: CSHC holders receive discounts for stamps and mail redirection from Australia Post.  

Concessions vary between each state and territory. You can refer to the Centrelink Website to understand the details of any benefits.

A person who was the holder of the CSHC on the 19 September 2016 and continuously thereafter is entitled to receive the Energy Supplement: Single Couple (each) Energy Supplement1 $14.10 per fortnight $10.60 per fortnight

How do you qualify for the CSHC?  

You must:

  • have reached pension age for Centrelink or Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA)
  • be an Australian citizen, holder of a permanent visa or a Special Category Visa holder
  • be in Australia on the day the claim is lodged for the CSHC
  • not be receiving an income support payment from Centrelink or a service pension or income support supplement from DVA
  • meet the requirements of the income test
  • provide your tax file number unless an exemption applies

Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) holders are not eligible for the CSHC. However, Low Income Health Care Card (LIC) holders who also meet the eligibility criteria for the CSHC can hold both cards concurrently.

To qualify for the CSHC, a person’s adjusted taxable income (ATI) plus deemed income from certain account-based income streams must be less than the income threshold:

The income thresholds are increased by $639.60 for each dependent child in the person’s care.


Centrelink/DVA will generally assess a person’s ATI from their tax notice of assessment (TNA) for the financial year prior to the year the claim is lodged. An estimate of ATI can be used where a person can demonstrate there has been a change in their personal circumstances and their TNA does not reflect their current level of income.

A Seniors Health Card is certainly worth considering once you reach Age Pension qualification for the benefits in medical and other expenditures.

Your Sunshine Coast Financial Advisor can assist with the details of understanding your financial position and qualification for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. You can apply for the CSHC by contacting Centrelink 13 2300.

For more Information contact financial advisor Mark Digby at Maher Digby Securities Pty  Ltd - Financial Advisers – AFSL No. 230559. This document was prepared by the Maher DigbySunshine Coast financial planning firm without taking into account any person’s particular objectives, financial situation or needs. It is not guaranteed as accurate or complete and should not be relied upon as such. The financial planning firm does not accept any responsibility for the opinions, comments, forward looking statements, and analysis contained in this document, all of which are intended to be of a general nature. Investors should, before acting on this information, consider the appropriateness of this information having regard to their personal objectives, financial situation or needs. We recommend consulting a financial advisor