NHS prescriptions:15 groups of people qualify for free prescriptions – eligibility checker

Martin Lewis offers advice on NHS prescriptions

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Some 15 groups of Britons qualify for help towards medical costs which includes free prescriptions, dental treatment and glasses. This financial support is for people on low incomes and those who suffer certain medical conditions.

At £9.35 per prescription, just relying on one prescription each month could soon add up to over £100 a year.

There’s never been a more important time to make savings and cutbacks where possible and one way people could save is by checking they aren’t paying unnecessarily.

Britons who live with certain medical conditions should automatically be sent a medical exemption certificate so they don’t have to pay.

However, anyone can double check their entitlement to free prescriptions by going onto the NHS website where there is a handy online tool.

 People on state benefits like Universal Credit could be exempt from paying for their prescriptions depending on their circumstances.

Claimants should qualify if they:

  • Earned £435 or less in the last assessment period
  • Took home £935 or less if this includes an element for a child.

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Benefits such as income support, income based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income related Employment and Support Allowance and Pension Credit could also mean someone is entitled to free prescriptions.

Britons are also usually exempt from paying for prescriptions when they reach 60-years-old.

However, this could change in the next few years as the Government is still consulting on raising this in line with the state pension age of 66-years-old.

If the proposals get the green light it could mean thousands more people are forced to pay for treatment.

Meanwhile, NHS England is reminding patients to double check their entitlement to free prescriptions before they head off to the chemist.

It recently launched its ‘Check Before You Tick’ campaign to remind people they can lose out if they get it wrong.

People who claim free NHS prescriptions or dental treatment they’re not entitled to, could face a £100 penalty charge even if it’s by mistake.

To check people should use the free prescriptions checker at www.nsh.uk.

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