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.
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).
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.
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
Digital concession cards
If you already have a Low Income Health Care Card, you can also access a digital image of your card from your Digital Wallet on your Centrelink Express Plus mobile app. The Digital Wallet allows you to present your Low Income Health Care Card using your smart device.
To access the Digital Wallet, eligible customers need to download the latest version of the Centrelink Express Plus Mobile app.
Access your digital Low Income Health Care Card by logging on to your app and selecting Digital Wallet from the side menu or simply rotating your smart device on its side. Your card will:
- drop down from the top of the screen
- swipe vertically to show the front and the back of the card, and
- shimmer slightly
If you have more than 1 concession card, you can swipe horizontally to access the card you need.
The Digital Wallet provides real time concession entitlement. If your Low Income Health Care Card is no longer active, EXPIRED will appear across the card and will be displayed for 28 days before it’s no longer available through your app. This will give you time to reapply if necessary.
There may be circumstances where you should continue to use your physical Low Income Health Care Card. If your Digital Wallet is not accepted by a concession provider, please contact us with their details by email email@example.com.
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.
Health Care Card and Pensioner Concession Card while travelling outside Australia
If you leave Australia to live in another country your concession card will be cancelled when you leave.
If you leave Australia temporarily, your card will remain current for up to 6 weeks provided your payment also remains current.
If you remain overseas for longer than 6 weeks and your payment remains current your concession card will be restored on your return to Australia. You can continue to use your existing card on your return to Australia.
If your payment is suspended while you are overseas and is restored on your return to Australia your concession card will be restored with your payment. You can continue to use your existing card on your return to Australia.
If your payment is cancelled while you are overseas and you reapply for your payment on your return to Australia, a new concession card will be sent to you if you receive a new payment.
Advising us of your travel outside Australia
You do not need to tell us if you are leaving Australia. We will be advised automatically by Australia’s immigration department when you leave Australia and when you return.
A guide to concession cards booklet
Find out more by reading the A guide to concession cards booklet.
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