- Deeming rates determine eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC)
- National Seniors helped secure a drop in deeming rates in 2018 and again in 2020
- Self-funded retirees with ‘deemed’ income of less than $55,808 (single) or $89,290 (couples) get access to concessions via the CSHC
Unfortunately, there are still a lot of self-funded retirees out there who don’t know they may be eligible for health and cost-of-living concessions via the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC).
The CSHC gives you access to cheaper medicines and medical bulk billing, as well as several other state and federal concessions.
You might think you don’t qualify for this card because you have significant financial assets, however changes to deeming rates – which National Seniors fought hard for – mean more people are now eligible.
As the Reserve Bank dropped interest rates to record lows to stimulate the economy, the government held on tight to deeming rates used to estimate your income from financial assets.
It was only after concerted pressure from seniors and organisations including National Seniors, that they eventually dropped the deeming rates – which sit currently at 0.25% for first $53,600 of your financial assets and 2.25% for anything over $53,600.
With the CSHC threshold for a single retiree sitting at $55,808, it means you can have up to $2.5 million in financial assets and get the card. For a couple, the CSHC eligibility threshold is $89,290 a year – which means they can have up to $4 million in financial assets and still get the card.
Department of Social Services data shows that this has resulted in an increase in the number of people who now hold a CSHC. Prior to the first drop in deeming rates, the number of card holders was about 375,000 – but since the first deeming rates change in July 2018, this has grown to around 430,000.
That means about 50,000 self-funded retirees are now eligible for basic concessions as a result of our campaign to reduce deeming rates. It is another example of how National Seniors has your back.
To learn more about what you’re eligible for with a CSHC (or any other concession card) take a look at the National Seniors’ new Concessions Calculator.
This simple and easy-to-use tool lists a range of available benefits to make it easier to understand what concessions you are eligible for. We encourage to you to check it out and share with your friends and family so they too can make the most of their benefits.