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The Coalition's policy to index the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card



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The Coalition's policy to index the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card August 25, 2013

A Coalition government will provide more peace of mind to self-funded retirees by indexing the Commonwealth Seniors Health

Card (CSHC).

Having done the right thing and saved for their retirement, many retirees live in fear of unexpected medical bills and of losing their

entitlement because of changes in retirement income.

The current CSHC threshold of $50,000 income for singles and $80,000 for a couple has not been increased since 2001.

If elected, the Coalition will index the CSHC to the consumer price index. Indexation will occur annually in September each year, with the first indexation to take into account changes in consumer prices over the current financial year.

The CSHC provides cost of living assistance to retirees who are of pension age but who do not qualify for the Age Pension. It

ensures cardholders receive payment of the Seniors Supplement; a concessional rate for items listed on the PBS; a reduction in the cost of out-of-hospital expenses, through the Medicare Safety Net; and concessional travel and bulk-billed GP appointments,

at the discretion of the doctor.

We understand the concerns of seniors about cost of living pressures, particularly the rising costs for healthcare as well as rising utility bills. That is why the Coalition will scrap the carbon tax, keep fortnightly pension and benefit increases, end Labor’s war on

private health insurance and index the CSHC.

By re-starting indexation of income thresholds we can allow more retirees access to the CSHC and reduce the fear of losing the card because of unexpected changes in income.

The last Coalition Government expanded access to the CSHC from 33,000 in 1996 to 318,000 in 2007.

While indexing the CSHC has a $100 million cost to the budget over the forward estimates, the CSHC encourages seniors to be

self-reliant.

Indexing the CSHC and providing greater cost of living assistance to older Australians is part of the Coalition’s Real Solutions Plan to build a stronger Australia and a better future for all Australians.

25 August 2013

Download the Coalition's policy to index the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card here.

© Tony Abbott MHR 2010 | Authorised by Tony Abbott MHR, Level 2, 17 Sydney Rd, Manly NSW 2095

www.tonyabbott.com.au

Tony Abbott Federal Member for Warringah | Leader of the Opposition

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