Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Q&A: Can I get a Health Care Card?

by Rob d'Apice
I know that Insufficient Funds is aimed at young people but some of the oldies are just as clueless. I am 61, not working. What do we have to do to be eligible for health card?

Thanks so much for tuning into Insufficient Funds (Prosple's weekly podcast filled with money saving tips)! Sorry that a lot of the content is youth-targeted; FBi radio's main demographic is younger. But I'd love to do an episode for the wiser generation!

Regarding your health care card, you should be eligible for a 'Seniors Health Card' when you are at Age Pension age (which for you is probably 65). However, given you are not working, you may be eligible for a 'Low Income Health Care' card - but if you are already receiving superannuation benefits, note that this counts as 'income' in determining whether you are above or below the threshold. Find out more on the Centrelink website.

The third, and main, type of card is simply the 'Health Care Card'. It's automatically awarded when you are receiving an eligible Centrelink allowance - you would probably already know if you were eligible, but you can check out more on the Centrelink website.

Financial management pre-retirement and beyond is substantially more complicated than choosing the right savings accounts. There are many nuances in the regulations (particularly re: superannuation) for making the most of your money. I'd suggest you have a chat with a financial advisor, if you haven't already - as much of the advice needs to be tailored to you.

In any case, I'll make a note to start including more tips for the slightly less young!

Got a question you need answered? Drop me a line at

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