Millions of Britons on Universal Credit and Pension Credit eligible for free prescriptions

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Free NHS prescriptions to end from April? What you need to know

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As people struggle to meet the cost of living amid rising inflation and soaring energy bills, Britons are being urged not to suffer in silence. Millions of people on certain benefits could be making savings on things like NHS prescriptions.

Others who rely on more than one prescription per month could save money by investing in a Prepayment Certificate.

Who qualifies for free NHS prescriptions?

People under 16
Anyone aged 60 or over
People aged 16 to 18 and in full-time education
Pregnant mothers, or anyone who has had a baby in the previous 12 months and has a valid maternity exemption certificate
Those who are registered disabled
An NHS inpatient
People in receipt of Income Support
Anyone in receipt of income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
Those in receipt of income-related Employment and Support Allowance
Applicants in receipt of Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
Some Universal Credit claimants
Some people claiming child tax credits or working tax credits
Those in receipt of a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2)
Anyone living in Scotland
People living in Wales.

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People who fall into these categories should be automatically exempt and receive a certificate.

However, anyone who thinks they should be eligible can apply for the HC1 Low Income Scheme on the NHS website.

Meanwhile, people who don’t qualify for help could still save money by purchasing a Prepayment Certificate (PPC).

An individual who relies on just one prescription per month could save £40 a year on average on their NHS prescriptions costs with one of these certificates, Money Saving Expert research has found.

The savings really start to add up if someone relies on two prescriptions per month. In this situation they could save £113.60 a year.

To check one’s eligibility for free prescriptions, people can use the NHS free prescription eligibility checker tool.

There’s the option of a three month or 12 month certificate, depending on one’s needs.

NHS prescription charges could soon apply to over 60s in England if Government proposals get the green light.

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It could mean tens of thousands of older people have to fork out for these extra costs over the next few years.

A Department for Health and Social Care spokesperson said although the proposals aren’t popular, they are necessary.

They said: “Around 90 percent of community prescriptions in England are free of charge, and people don’t pay if they are on a low income, over 60, 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 between this and the state pension age.”

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