Can you get free RATs test kits?

It’s hard enough to keep up with frequent changes to health rules, let alone changes to your entitlements. So you may have missed the recent announcement of free rapid antigen tests (RATs) for all Australian concession card holders. The key details are as follows:


  • Up to 10 test kits are available for concession card holders over a period of three months.
  • They can be accessed from pharmacies over the three month period, with no more than five per month to be issued per cardholder
  • Cards which qualify include the Pensioner Concession Card (PCC), the Health Care Card (HCC), the Low Income Health Card (LIHC), all Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) cards, whether gold, white or orange, and the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC).

At the time of the announcement, made by the Prime Minister on January 5, the tests were expected to be available within the following fortnight.  They are now expected to be available from the 24th January.

Since then ballooning Covid case numbers and difficulties associated with PCR tests have caused a run on the self-administered RATs test kits, with most outlets including supermarkets, pharmacies and other retail stores stripped of stock.

At the time of writing the website https://findarat.com.au/ listed a total of 460 outlets across Australia, with 371 out of stock, 17 holding low stocks and 72 with reasonable stock. The beginning of the school year in a fortnight’s time will no doubt also add to these stock level pressures. You may wish to check this site if you qualify as a concession card holder, or if you have an urgent need for such a test.

Those who do take a self-administered test which shows a positive result are required to isolate at home for seven days and advise the relevant health authorities about their positive result.

How about you? What’s been your experience?

Are you one of the lucky ones who already has a test kit at home?

Do you now qualify for the free test kits?

Or do you miss out?

And do you believe they should simply be free for all, as the PCR test has been?

You need to hold one of the eligible cards to take advantage of the free RATs.  We can help you with both the Age Pension and CSHC.  You can check your eligibility below.


Check Your Eligibility