Are you looking for cheap health insurance? Unfortunately, finding affordable health insurance may seem more challenging these days then it used to be. For example, private health insurance in Australia can cost a family with dependents up to a couple of hundred dollars a month. That’s just a basic policy and doesn’t include any “extras” such as dental, optical and chiropractic cover.Image by epSos.de
Luckily, there are other options available that will help you afford health care. One of these options is applying for a Low Income Health Care Card.
Low Income Health Care Card Eligibility
Eligibility for the Health Care Card is determined by Centrelink. Centrelink offers a variety of concession cards. These cards provide people with financial benefits and access to certain health services. One of the more common cards Centrelink offers is the Low Income Health Care Card.
Low Income Health Care Cards are available to those who satisfy the specific income test and meet other residency requirements. For example, you must be in Australia, be an Australian resident, or you must be the holder of a special category visa to qualify for a Low Income Health Care Card.
You may be entitled to cheaper medication under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme if you are a Low Income Health Care Card holder.
If you are a student or a low-income earner and meet the Low Income Health Care Card income test, you may be eligible for a Low Income Health Care Card.
Claiming a Low Income Health Care Card
You can register for a Low Income Health Care Card online or by post. You will be asked a few questions regarding your and your partner’s income.
You may also need to provide proof of identity. If you need to provide any other type of information, Centrelink will let you know. Once you get all of the required documents submitted, your claim will be processed.
Using Your Card
If your claim is accepted, your Low Income Health Care Card will arrive in the mail. Before your card reaches its expiration date, Centrelink should send you a renewal claim form, provided that you are still eligible for it.
You will be required to re-qualify each time you renew your Low Income Health Care Card. To be eligible for a renewed card, your weekly income must not exceed the maximum gross income specified by Centrelink.
Remember, if your circumstances change, you must inform Centrelink. For example, if your income increases or you return to work, they must be notified. If you stop receiving your Centrelink payment, your Low Income Health Care Card will automatically be cancelled.
Contact Centrelink if you’d like to learn more about the cards they offer, and see if you can help reduce your health care costs this way.