Major change offers Australians ‘secure and convenient access’ to Medicare card

Mar 31, 2023
Australians are now able to add their Medicare card to the myGov app for secure and convenient access. Source: Getty Images.

Australians can now include a digital copy of their Medicare card on the myGov app, enabling them to access it securely and conveniently while on the move.

As the app has already garnered over a million users, the addition of Medicare cards is considered the next logical progression in empowering people to select how they interact with government services.

While making the announcement, Minister for Government Services and the NDIS Bill Shorten MP said “many people use their Medicare card regularly, so adding it to their wallet in the myGov app is a safe and convenient way to keep their personal documents together in one place.”

“As with all items in the myGov wallet, the Medicare card has protections against fraud and theft, including a hologram and QR code,” Shorten said.

“The animated hologram shows that the card is not just a screenshot and the QR code can be scanned by health professionals to confirm the card is genuine and valid.”

Minister for Health Mark Butler MP said the move provides an additional method for Australians to access the advantages associated with their Medicare card.

“Medicare is already the number one service linked to myGov, with over 19 million accounts,” Butler said.

“For too long the former Government didn’t prioritise the benefits of digital health.

“Labor is the party of Medicare and we will always strengthen it.”

Shorten added that the change paves the way for more credentials to be added to the myGov app in the future.

“This is just the beginning. I’ve already announced that later this year, people will have the option of adding their NSW driver licence to their myGov app,” Shorten said.

“We’re also working to make the Medicare card available for those who prefer to use the Service NSW app to store their digital credentials.

“At the end of the day, it’s about simplifying government for people and giving them more choice in how they connect with the services they need.”

Although Shorten remains hopeful that people will embrace the new technology at the end of the day it is up to the individual.

“We’re encouraging all health professionals to accept the new digital Medicare cards, but we understand this may not happen straight away,” Shorten said.

“People will be able to use their physical Medicare card as well as their digital card and while this is a new option, it’s okay if people would prefer to continue only using their physical Medicare card.”

To add your Medicare card to the myGov app:

  • Ensure that your Medicare account is linked to your myGov account.
  • Open the myGov app on your device.
  • On the app’s home screen, find and select the “Wallet” option.
  • Choose “Add to wallet” and follow the prompts to add your Medicare card.
  • After adding the card, you can also save it to the app’s home screen for quicker access.

Medicare isn’t the only card to undergo a change after changes were also made to the Seniors Health Care Card in November 2022 that increased the income threshold for access to the card. 

Following changes in eligibility criteria, over 10,000 additional older Australians and veterans in Australia have been issued a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, easing the financial burden associated with the rising cost of living.

In the first four months since the Labor Government introduced the increased income thresholds, an additional 10,893 older Australians have been granted the card who would not have met eligibility criteria previously.

The annual income thresholds increased in November following the passage of legislation. These increased to:

  • $90,000 for singles, up from the previous limit of $57,761; and
  • $144,000 for couples, up from the previous limit of $92,416

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the Labor Government was upholding its commitment to reduce cost of living pressures and assist older Australians.

“It’s incredible to see such a great take-up in such a short time,” Rishworth said.

“We know that seniors value their concession cards and importantly, this change isn’t temporary. It’s permanent and will provide older Australians with ongoing benefits in the years ahead.

“Initial projections were that an additional 52,000 older Australians would benefit by 2026-27.”

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