Concession and health care cards

Concession and health care cards can help you get cheaper health care services and medicines.

Types of concession and health care cards

The type of concession or health care card you can claim will depend on:

  • the type of income support payment you get
  • your age
  • whether you have dependants, and
  • other requirements

There are different types of concession and health care cards. Each card has its own eligibility and concessions:

Concession cards from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA)

The DVA also issue their own concession cards to eligible:

  • veterans
  • former Australian Defence Force members, and
  • their dependants

Read more about the concession cards they issue on the Department of Veterans' Affairs website.

Seniors Card

Each state and territory has a Seniors Card program. It provides seniors with state and territory government concessions, private business concessions, discounts on health and lifestyle services and products throughout Australia.

Read more about the Seniors Card on the website.

NSW Half Fare Entitlement Card for job seekers

This card is no longer active. Transport for NSW are issuing NSW Transport Concession Entitlement Cards.

For more information, and to find out how to claim the new NSW Transport Concession Entitlement Card, visit the concession fares for job seekers page on the Transport for NSW website.

Benefits and concessions

Having a concession or health care card gives you access to cheaper health care services and medicines. For example, Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme medicines will be cheaper. They can be free once you reach the PBS Safety Net threshold.

The card may also cover your partner and children if it relates to an income support payment.

If you have a Low Income Health Care Card, the card may also cover your partner and children.

Concession cards can give you, your partner and dependants other concessions from:

  • state 
  • local government authorities 
  • private businesses

Not all card types will get the same concessions. The concessions on offer to cardholders vary between states and territories.

Some state based concessions may not be available to cardholders who:

  • are travelling through
  • temporarily living in another state

For more information in these cases, contact the individual concession providers before travelling.

If you don't show your card

If you don't show your Medicare or concession card to the pharmacist, you may have to pay the full price for your PBS medicine.

You can ask your pharmacist for an official PBS refund receipt which is different to the sales docket. Then complete and submit a Patient claim for refund Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) form. The refund you get may not cover the full amount you paid for your medicine.

Going overseas

There are rules about using your concession and health care card outside of Australia.

Read more about payments while you are outside Australia.

Concession card features

Your concession card will display your:

  • Customer Reference Number (CRN)
  • address - usually your home address
  • card start date - the date your concession entitlement begins
  • expiry date - the date the concession card expires
  • name - your first name and family name

Depending on the type of card you have, your partner’s first name and family name is displayed. For any dependent children, only their first name will be shown.

As there are different types of concession cards available, the names that appear on the cards may differ from one card to another as follows:

Concession card Cardholder Partner Dependent children Period of issue
Pensioner Concession Card yes yes yes

2 years

reissued on cardholder’s birthday every 2 years if eligible

Most Health Care Cards yes yes yes

1 year

reissued automatically if eligible

Mobility Allowance Health Care Card yes    

1 year

reissued automatically if eligible

Ex-Carer Allowance (Child) Health Care Card yes    

1 year

must reclaim each year

Carer Allowance Health Care Card     yes

1 year

reissued automatically if eligible

Foster Child Health Care Card     yes

1 year

reissued automatically if eligible

Low Income Health Care Card yes yes yes

1 year

must renew each year

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card yes    

1 year

reissued each year in August if eligible

You can contact us to remove:

  • your partner's name from your card
  • an address from your card

Some providers may not give concessions for:

  • people not listed on the card
  • residents of certain areas
  • a bill that relates to your residential address if that address is not shown on your card

Replacement cards

We can replace lost or stolen cards. A replacement card will be sent to you. To request one, use your Centrelink online account, self service, by calling us or visit your nearest service centre.

If you need your card urgently, you can get a temporary concession card at any service centre.

Digital concession cards

A digital concession card is available for eligible customers using the  Digital Wallet on their Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

There may be times where you should continue to use your physical card. A digital concession card allows you to show it using your smart device.

Other government and community support services

There are a range of other organisations that provide support services and information you may find helpful. You can use Service Finder to locate help in your local area.

Read more about concessions available in your state or territory:

moneysmart logoMoneySmart has information to help you make the most of your money. Read the Budget planner section on the MoneySmart website.

Page last updated: 20 February 2017