Thousands more self-funded retirees will have access to cheaper medicine and health benefits, with Parliament today introducing legislation to index the income thresholds for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.
Minister for Social Services, Kevin Andrews, said the election commitment would enable up to 27,000 additional people to qualify for the Card over the next four years, on top of the already 290,000 recipients.
“By looking after their own retirement needs self-funded retirees save the nation considerable pension costs,” Mr Andrews said.
“However, with no indexation since 2001, income thresholds for the Card have not kept pace with living costs.
“Income thresholds did not increase once over the last six years of Labor.
“Indexing the current income thresholds will enable more self-funded retirees to access the Card, and give them the peace of mind they will not lose their entitlement because of modest changes in their income.”
The current income thresholds for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card are $50,000 for singles and $80,000 for couples combined.
Annual indexation of the income thresholds in line with the Consumer Price Index will begin from 20 September 2014.