The Community Services Card (CSC) can help individuals and their families with the costs of health care. It entitles the holder and their family to a reduction in the cost of some health services and prescriptions.
The Community Services Card is administered by Work and Income on behalf of the Ministry of Health.
Individuals may be entitled to apply for a CSC if they meet the following 3 criteria:
- aged 18 years old or over (or 16–17 years old in full-time tertiary study)
- on a low to middle income (depending on their family situation)
- a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.
Refugees or people with protection status or who have applied for refugee or protection status may also be eligible to apply for the CSC.
Some SuperGold Card Holders may have a Combo card that includes their CSC details and expiry date on the back of their card.
From December 2018, eligibility is also being extended to:
- people living in public housing
- Accommodation Supplement recipients.
These individuals will be contacted by MSD over coming months.
If you think that you might be eligible for a CSC you can contact the MSD call centre on 0800 999 999.
The Community Services Card can reduce the cost of:
- prescription fees
- fees for after-hours general practice visits
- visits to a general practice where the individual is not enrolled
- glasses for children under 16
- 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 the home area when the patient has been referred (at least 80 km away for adults and 25 km for children)
- home help.
The card can also be used for dependent children aged under 18 years.
Visit the Work and Income website to find out more.
Low-cost visits for enrolled patients
Low-cost visits are being introduced for Community Service Card holders and their dependent children. This will apply to visits to their regular general practice (where they are enrolled). It will bring the cost of visits in line with the cost at Very Low Cost Access (VLCA) practices – see the VLCA scheme page for the current maximum fees.
This initiative won’t apply to:
- card holders enrolled at VLCA practices (as they are already paying a reduced fee)
- after hours visits or visits to practices the card holder is not enrolled with (although these may be subsidised for card holders in some areas).
This initiative is intended to be implemented from December 2018.
General practices can choose whether or not to provide low-cost visits to community service card holders. Those that opt in receive an additional subsidy from the Government.
This initiative will be implemented with the sector via discussion and ratification within the PHO Services Agreement Amendment Protocol (PSAAP).