Cheaper medicine for thousands of seniors

Thousands of seniors will be able to access cheaper medicines and doctor visits thanks to relaxed income tests for health concession cards.

The Albanese government has delivered on an election promise by increasing the income thresholds on the Commonwealth seniors health card, meaning higher income earners will now be able to qualify for subsidised healthcare and medicines.

From Friday, singles earning up to $90,000 will be able to access the scheme, up from $57,761.

For couples, the threshold has been bumped up to $144,000 rather than $92,416.

The move will benefit an extra 44,000 seniors and cost the federal budget $69.4 million over four years.

"We want to create a better Australia where no one is left behind and no one is held back, and this is particularly true for older Australians," Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said.

Health card holders can get discounted prescriptions through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and bigger refunds for health expenses than what's usually offered through Medicare.

GPs are also encouraged to bulk-bill for cardholders.

The cards are open to anyone over 66 and six months and not receiving a social security pension or benefit.

Former prime minister Scott Morrison promised to expand access to the seniors health card in the lead up to the election. The pledge was promptly matched by Labor.

The seniors health card bill passed the Senate last week.