Britons can check if they are eligible for free NHS prescriptions – ‘it only takes three m

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Most NHS treatment is free, but the costs of prescriptions, dentist bills and eye care can soon rack up. Fortunately, some people are entitled to help towards these charges, with free prescriptions for certain categories.

The NHS has an online tool where a person can find out what support they can get, which takes just three minutes to complete.

Respondents are asked to say which country they live in, if their GP practice is in Scotland and Wales, and where their dental practice is.

People are also asked to input their date of birth and if they live with a partner.

Then there are questions about if the person (and their partner) receive benefits, tax credits or Universal Credit.

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Once all the information has been inputted, the tool says what support the person is entitled to.

There is also advice about other help that the person may want to apply for.

A patient can get free NHS prescriptions if they are aged under 16, or 60 and over, or are 16 to 18 and in full time education.

Pregnant women or women who have had a baby in the past 12 months and have a valid maternity exemption certificate are also eligible.

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People with certain medical conditions can get a medical exemption certificate to claim their medication for free.

This includes people with cancer, diabetes or epilepsy that requires continuous anticonvulsive therapy.

NHS inpatients also get their prescriptions for free.

Some benefits claimants can also claim the freebies, including people on Income Support and some people on Universal Credit.

NHS users may also want to look at the NHS Low Income Scheme.

The scheme helps towards a person’s costs, depending on their weekly income and outgoings, and any savings and investments.

The programme can help towards the costs of sight tests, glasses and contact lenses, travelling to get NHS treatment and NHS wigs and fabric supports.

A recipient’s partner can also get help through the scheme, with refunds available for previous treatment that could have been covered.

A person is eligible if they or their partner do not have savings or investments of more than £16,000, not including their home.

Those living permanently in a care home have an upper limit of £23,250, or £24,000 for residents of Wales.

People who don’t qualify for free prescriptions can still save money by buying a Pre-Payment Certificate (PPC).

Britons can buy a PPC for three months or a year no matter what their income.

A certificate tends to save people money if they need two or more prescriptions per month.

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