- Primary health care
- Better, Sooner, More Convenient' Primary Health Care
- Primary health organisations
- Services and projects
- Capitation funding
- Capitation Rates
- Care Plus
- Community Services Card
- First Contact / General Practice Services
- Health promotion
- High Use Health Card
- PHO performance
- Preliminary Newborn Enrolment Policy
- Pharmaceutical co-payments
- Primary Mental Health
- Rural health
- Services to improve access
- Very Low Cost Access
- Zero Fees for Under 6s
- Research and evaluation
Community Services Card
The purpose of the Community Services Card is to reduce the amount families on low to modest incomes pay for some health services and prescriptions. It is also known as the Health Card, Exemption Card or Discount Card.
What do I get from a Community Services Card?
The Community Services Card can reduce the cost of:
- fees for after hours doctor visits
- visits to a doctor who is not your regular doctor
- glasses for children aged 15 years and under
- emergency dental care provided by hospitals and approved dental contractors (ask the dental provider if they are an approved contractor)
- travel and accommodation for treatment at a public hospital outside your area when you have been referred (at least 80 km away for adults and 25 km for children) home help
- prescription fees (when prescriptions are from a provider without a Ministry, DHB or PHO contract, eg, private specialist).
If you already have a High Use Health Card, there is an advantage in also having a Community Services Card, because the Community Services Card gives subsidies to dependent children aged under 18 years. The High Use Health Card is only for an individual.
The Community Services Card does not give subsidies for visiting alternative health providers, like acupuncturists, unless they are also registered GPs.
Who is entitled to a Community Services Card?
Any family whose gross income (income before tax) falls under the income thresholds set out by the Ministry of Social Development.
Income is defined as gross income, and includes wages, income support, interest from investments, student allowances, drawings from your own business and family assistance from Inland Revenue.
More information on income thresholds is on the Ministry of Social Development’s Work and Income website.
Where and how can I get a Community Services Card?
People receiving the main income support benefits are generally automatically issued with a card. Families getting family assistance tax credits are also generally sent application forms automatically. Superannuitants who have extra income from other sources, and low-income families need to apply for the card. Applications can be made at your local Work and Income office or by calling the Community Services Card national centre free-phone on 0800-999-999.
More information on how to apply is on the Ministry of Social Development's Work and Income website.
Does it cost me anything to get a Community Services Card?
No, there is no charge for this service.
What should I do with the Community Services Card?
Take it with you when you visit a doctor who is not your regular doctor, for after hours doctor visits and when you pay for a prescription. This is so you can get the extra subsidy on the spot. If you visit a doctor before you get your card, keep your receipts, as you may be able to claim a refund.
Also present your card when you pay for glasses for children under eight, emergency dental care provided by hospitals and approved dental contractors, travel and accommodation for treatment at a public hospital outside your area when you have been referred (at least 80km away for adults and 25km for children) and home help.
For further information, call the Community Services Card centre freephone on 0800 999 999.
I have a SuperGold Card, do I still need my Community Services Card?
Not everyone with a SuperGold Card is eligible for the Community Services Card. You will still need to apply to receive Community Service Card entitlements.
If you have a Community Services Card, the card details will be printed on your SuperGold Card. You can then present the SuperGold Card instead of the Community Services Card.
More information can be found on the SuperGold card website.