Free NHS prescriptions: Some Britons eligible to waive £9.35 cost

Martin Lewis offers advice on NHS prescriptions

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

A proposal to increase the free prescription eligibility age from 60 to state pension age, 66, may see older Britons out of pocket overnight. However, claiming certain benefits, having certain illnesses or circumstances could help people avoid the costs.

The proposal currently has two options to move the eligibility age, the first of which would see people aged 60 to 65 losing their entitlement overnight. 

The second option would have people currently aged between 60 and 65 keeping their free prescription entitlement, but those aged 59 would have to wait six years longer than their slightly older counterparts. 

Many charities have voiced their concerns over the proposals as this age group is more likely to require multiple medications and would experience a greater impact if they do not receive it. 

NHS prescriptions currently cost £9.35 per item and have been frozen at this price for this year.

While this may not seem like a big cost, for Britons with chronic medication or multiple prescriptions it could compound into hundreds of pounds per year. 

Aside from using a pre-payment certificate, which requires an upfront cost for three or 12 months’ worth of prescriptions, some people may find they do not need to pay for medication at all. 

The first category for entitlement is in regards to age, with Britons currently over the age of 60 or under the age of 16 receiving free prescriptions. 

People who are aged between 16 and 18 but are in full-time education can also receive free prescriptions. 

People who have a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate, available to those receiving Child Tax Credits or Working Tax Credits with a disability element and income of £15,276 or less can receive free prescriptions. 

Other exemption categories rely heavily on circumstances or the illnesses or disabilities one is receiving treatment for. 

Pregnant women, or people who have had a baby in the last 12 months can receive free prescriptions provided that they have a valid maternity exemption certificate. 

People who are disabled can receive their medications for free if they have a valid medical exemption certificate. 

People can apply for this certificate if they have one of the following conditions:

  • A permanent fistula which requires continuous dressing or an appliance
  • A form of hypoadrenalism such as Addison’s Disease
  • Diabetes insipidus and other forms of hypopituitarism
  • Diabetes mellitus that cannot be treated by diet alone
  • Hypoparathyroidism
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Myxoedema 
  • Epilepsy which needs continuous anticonvulsive therapy
  • A continuing physical disability that requires assistance from another person
  • Cancer, provided they are undergoing treatment for the cancer, the effects of it of the effects of the treatment. 

People who are under the war pension exemption scheme do not have to pay their prescriptions as well as NHS inpatients. 

Additionally, people claiming the following benefits may not need to pay for their medication:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit.

For people who do not fit into any of these categories but are struggling to cover the cost could apply to the NHS Low Income Scheme for assistance. 

Source: Read Full Article