Free NHS prescriptions could save Britons hundreds but which 15 groups qualify?

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Martin Lewis offers advice on NHS prescriptions

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NHS prescriptions cost £9.35 per item which soon adds up if people rely on one or more a month. Yet there are some ways to make huge savings on the cost of medication.

Some Universal Credit claimants should also be exempt from paying but only if they earn less than a certain amount.

As well as earnings, other factors that are taken into account include whether the claimant has responsibility for one or more children.

Typically, applicants who earned £435 or less in the last assessment period, or £935 if they have responsibility for a child, should be entitled to help with prescription costs.

Britons may also qualify for free prescriptions if they receive income support, income based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income related Employment and Support Allowance and Pension Credit.

If they haven’t been sent an exemption certificate, they should follow up with their work coach or local benefits office.

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There’s a full list of medical exemptions on the NHS website.

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

This allows anyone to purchase as many NHS prescriptions as they need throughout the year for £108.10.

Alternatively, they can pay for three months up front for £30.25.

How much will a NHS Pre-Payment Certificate save on prescription costs?

  • Two prescriptions per month – save £116.30 with a 12-month PPC
  • Three prescriptions per month – save £228.50 with a 12-month PPC
  • Four prescriptions per month – save £340.70 with a 12-month PPC

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Over 60s could soon be forced to pay NHS prescription charges as the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) confirmed a decision had not yet been made.

A spokesperson said: “The vast majority – around 89 percent – of community prescription items in England are free of charge, and people don’t pay if they are on a low income, over 60 years old, or have certain medical conditions.

“The upper age exemption has not changed since 1995 and that is why we have consulted on restoring the link with the state pension age.

“No decision has yet been made – We are considering the responses carefully and will respond in due course.”

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