Health card, deeming rate changes introduced

health card deeming rates

The income threshold for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card will increase, while deeming rates will be frozen as part of measures contained in the budget.

The federal government has announced changes to the income threshold for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) and a freeze on deeming rates as budget measures pitched at retirees.

According to the budget papers, the government will increase the income threshold for the CSHC from $61,284 to $90,000 for singles and from $98,054 to $144,000 (combined) for couples.

The move will cost the government $69.6 million over four years from 2022/23 and represents a significant increase in the threshold, according to Heffron managing director Meg Heffron, who noted the change had already been flagged.

“These are almost law already. The changes to the thresholds themselves have been agreed by both houses of parliament, the bill has just been held up by a proposed change to the start date – again, we expect this to come soon,” Heffron said.

The budget papers also stated the government will freeze social security deeming rates at their current levels for a further two years until 30 June 2024 “to support older Australians who rely on income from deemed financial investments, as well as the pension, to deal with the rising cost of living”.

The changes are part of a number of measures aimed at retirees, including a reduction in the eligibility age to make downsizer contributions.


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