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.

You will be automatically issued a Health Care Card if you are residing in Australia and you get:

Most health care cards are issued for a period of 12 months.

Foster carers

You may be eligible for a Foster Child Health Care Card if you are a foster carer, or caring for another person’s child, including if you are a relative of the child. The card is issued in the name of the child in your care.

Read more about the Foster Child Health Care Card.

Ex-Carer Allowance (child)

If you are a full time student aged between 16 and 25 years of age and have a disability or medical condition that previously entitled your carer to a Carer Allowance (Child) Health Care Card, you may be eligible for an Ex-Carer Allowance (Child) Health Care Card. This card is not means tested.

Read more about the Ex-Carer Allowance (Child) Health Care Card.

Shared care

If you have a Health Care Card and you share the care of a child, the child’s name will be listed on your Health Care Card if the percentage of shared care is above the minimum amount. This amount depends on the payment you receive.

If you receive Your percentage of shared care needs to be a minimum of
Family Tax Benefit 14% actual care
Parenting Payment 50% care. Care is considered equal when the difference in care is less than 10%. In cases of equal care, for example 46/54, the principal carer with less than 50% care will be entitled to have the child listed on their card.
Newstart Allowance, Youth Allowance as a job seeker, Sickness Allowance, Farm Household Allowance 14% care
Widow Allowance, Special Benefit and Partner Allowance 30% care

If you are a non-custodial parent, you may be eligible for a temporary Health Care Card while temporarily caring for your children who are listed as dependents on the Health Care Card of the custodial parent or guardian. The temporary Health Care Card displays only the child’s name.

Low income earner

You may be eligible for a Low Income Health Care Card if you are a low income earner and meet the Low Income Health Care Card income test.

Read more about the Low Income Health Care Card.

Returning to work

You may be able to keep your Health Care Card for 6 months after you return to work if you have received one of these payments for more than 12 months:

Page last updated: 27 June 2016

This information was printed Tuesday 25 October 2016 from humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/eligibility-health-care-card It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at humanservices.gov.au/siteinformation when using this material.