The one thing that won’t change if your pension changes next year

We all know the age pension is changing on January 1 and some of us will lose all or part

We all know the age pension is changing on January 1 and some of us will lose all or part of our pension.

But did you know about what happens with your health care card?

Everybody on the age pension or another form of government payment has access to a health care card – either a Low Income Health Care Card or a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

The good news is that even if you lose your pension on January 1, you’ll still be able to keep your health care card!

Read more: How you can prepare yourself for changes to the age pension

Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongen confirmed that if your pension was cancelled on January 1, you’ll automatically be issued with a Low Income Health Care Card.

“If you are over Age Pension age, they will also receive a non-income tested Commonwealth Seniors Health Card in addition to the Low Income Health Care Card,” he said.

“You will be exempt from the income test requirements for these cards, but will need to continue to meet the other criteria to remain eligible for these cards.”

What happens if you lose your pension in mid or late January – or even later?

Well, unfortunately the health care card deal is only being extended to those who will lose their pension on January 1.

“It will not apply to customers who will lose eligibility to their pension at a different point in time, unless we retrospectively adjusts their assets to a date in 2016, which then effectively cancels their pension on 1 January 2017,” Jongen said.

“Any customer who loses their pension at a different point in time (other than 1 January 2017) will need to make a claim for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card and meet the eligibility criteria including an income test.”

Read more: How the latest age pension reforms could affect you

If you have a Health Card, then you’re probably aware of the benefits it brings.

As a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holder you’re entitled to so many things including:

– Cheaper medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme,

– Discounts or concessions on bulk billed doctor appointments,

– Cheaper out of hospital medical expenses through the Medicare Safety Net,

– Concessions from state and territory governments, local councils, and private businesses – such as health services, household expenses, transport costs, education costs and recreation expenses

Read more: How changes to the pension assets test could affect the economy

Jongen said you should check with your state government to find out what concessions are available to you.

“Customers who are not automatically entitled to the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card on 1 January 2017 as a result of the new assets test changes can make a claim for the card online or by filling in a claim form,” he said. 

“The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card is reissued each year in August if the cardholder remains eligible.”

You can find out more about the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card here

  1. lurch  

    No member or ex member of parliament will loss one cent from their pension or entitlements.

    • Barbara  

      You’re right. They will continue to duck the taxpayers dry. I have no respect for any of them. I’d be ashamed to admit any relative of mine was or is a politician.

  2. D.Beadsmoore  

    Have been told that we will lose $60wk from Jan. We are rich because we have approx. $34000 Income, mostly from my UK earned Pension and UK Super Pension although most of my working life has been in Australia ! . Would like to see what would happen if all wage earners on $35000 a yr were told they were going to have a $3000 yr pay cut ! And of course the Pollies wont be taking a cut will they ?

    • john  

      To most that would simply be a taxation rate at 35k your not doing bad

    • Rita  

      That amount of $35000, is way above ant age pension entitlements here, so you are well catered for

    • Bruce McCoughtry  

      48000 retired teachers, nurses, police officers and firemen lost a lot more than $3000 a year from Jan 1 2016 but this was done in a sneaky deal implemented by the “honourable” ( not honest ) Federal Treasurer. You didn’t know about this???? I’m not surprised. I lost $5000 a year from my very moderate income.

  3. Jean  

    As a group I felt we had already done our bit for the nation after the Government raised the age of retirement. Seems Governments see us as an easy mark!

  4. H tyler  

    Another thing that won’t change is the poor service you get at centerlink. They are poorly trained and a lot of them are not interested in their job.

  5. Kerri moore  

    This information is not clear

  6. Guy Flavell  

    A single home-owning retiree can earn up to $58,000 pa without paying any tax whatsoever !!!
    You bloody whinging sods make me sick !!!! Get down from your greedy high-horses and try
    living on the old age pension of $22,700 pa !!!

    • Mary  

      Why are they wingers. We have no idea how pensioners spent their money during their lifetime. Pokies drinking smoking holidays. Etc etc. most of seniors that are not getting any pension did not do any of those. I myself put 10% of every pay packet into super so as well as paying tax I saved for my retirement only to be told that now you can jump. I now payGST to help those not so fortunate. We all make our own luck

  7. Jack  

    I’m glad to say I don’t have to “try living on the old age pension of $22.7 k pa”. In fact it’s probably
    twice as much as these losers deserve as they’ve obviously done nothing to improve their lives
    over the years. They are a total burden on our welfare system and have nothing at all to be proud of.

    • Helen  

      Bit harsh. Sometimes things dont work out like having a business go broke, or a marriage break up. Glad life has worked out well for you.

      • Janet  

        Could not agree more, 15 years of drought busted myself and my husband in our late 60s, lost a business that had survived 40 years, lost the house we had built and all our super, don’t drink,don’t smoke and don’t gamble. Stick it Jack. We are not all losers by choice.

  8. Laurie gilbert  

    Why do people who have worked hard all there LIFE have to pay for people who won’t & Dont intend to work EVER – not Fair 👺

  9. Rhonda De Stefano  

    I read an interesting comment recently regarding socialisation of debt and privatisation of profit by successive governments (this one being one of the worst). How very true! They are meant to represent us, but we just seem to make money for them and they sell off assets that, kept in public hands, would be making profits and keeping costs down for consumers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *