Tell us if things change
Let us know about any changes to your address and telephone number, family situation, and financial situation. Some changes may affect your entitlement to keep your Health Care Card.
Find your nearest DHS Service Centre.
Having a Health Care Card will give you concessions on health-care costs. This means you can get cheaper prescription medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and medical services funded by the Australian Government. This card can also give you access to concessions provided by State and Local Governments as well as some private businesses, including household, education, and public-transport costs.
If you are receiving certain Centrelink payments or supplements from us or the maximum rate of Family Tax Benefit (Part A), you will automatically receive a Health Care Card. Partners and children may also be covered by the card.
You need to put in a claim to find out whether you can receive a Foster Child Health Care Card, ex-Carer Allowance (child) Health Care Card, and Low Income Health Care Card.
Not all card types get the same concessions, and the concessions available to cardholders may be different between States and Territories.
Eligibility & payment rates
Eligibility for a Health Care Card
You may be eligible for a Health Care Card if you get specific payments or supplements from us or the maximum rate of Family Tax Benefit (Part A).
Residency requirements for a Health Care Card
To receive a Health Care Card, you need to meet specific requirements.
You need to be:
- living in Australia and either
- an Australian resident or
- the holder of a special category visa—that is a New Zealand citizen
You also need to meet a two-year newly-arrived resident’s waiting period or to be exempt from this requirement, for example if you are a refugee or the partner of an Australian citizen.
If you leave Australia permanently and you have a Health Care Card, the card will be cancelled on your departure.
If you leave Australia temporarily, your card will stay current for up to six weeks—as long as you continue to be entitled to the card.
Benefits of a Health Care Card
A Health Care Card entitles you to cheaper prescription medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and various concessions from the Australian Government.
Claiming a Health Care Card
If you are receiving an eligible payment, you will automatically receive the card. We will send you a new card when it is due for renewal, if you are still eligible.
Intent to Claim
An Intent to Claim is the term we use when you first tell us that you are seeking a payment or concession card.
Ways of claiming a Health Care Card
You can make a claim for some of these Health Care Cards on line or by filling in the appropriate forms.
Managing your card
Change of circumstances while holding a Health Care Card
You need to tell us if your circumstances change - for instance, if your income goes up, or you start or return to work, or you change your address.
If you stop receiving your payment, we will automatically cancel your Health Care Card.
If you return to work, you need to ask us whether you can keep your Health Care Card for a short time.
There are concession card rules that might affect you if you leave Australia.
Sample images of the Health Care Card
Sample images of the Health Care Card issued from September 2012 and the card issued before September 2012.
Card issued from September 2012
Card issued before September 2012