The NHS prescription price rise sees NHS patients paying an additional 30p for their prescriptions in England, increasing from £9.35 to £9.65. However, there are already 15 groups that do not have to pay the charge.
The rising prices affect prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs), wigs, and fabric supports.
The three-month PPC has risen by £1 to £31.23, while a 12-month PPC costs an additional £3.50, bringing the price up to £111.60.
The recently introduced Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) PPC now costs £19.30.
England is the only country in the UK that still charges patients for their prescriptions. Individuals across Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland get theirs for free after charges were scrapped just over a decade ago.
However, those on low incomes and certain age groups could save money and get their medications free.
Some groups are automatically entitled to free NHS prescriptions and others can apply for certificates that entitle them to this.
Someone’s age is an important factor in determining whether people are entitled to this freebie benefit.
Here is a full list of the demographics who are eligible for free prescriptions based on their age bracket:
- Over 60s in England
- Young people under 16
- Young people between the ages of 16 and 18 if they are in higher education
- Residents in Scotland and Wales no matter what age they are.
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Some prescribed items are always free, including contraceptives and medication given to hospital inpatients.
People on state benefits like Universal Credit could be exempt from paying for their prescriptions depending on their circumstances.
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.
Additionally, people can get free NHS prescriptions if they have a valid HC2 certificate.
These certificates are issued to people who qualify for full help with health costs through the NHS Low Income Scheme.
People with health conditions like epilepsy and cancer will be sent a medical exemption certificate through the post but it’s worth checking the full list of exemptions on the NHS website.
If a person has a valid NHS tax credits exemption certificate they may be eligible for a free prescription.
This can be gained by those who receive Working Tax Credit with a disability element, or Child Tax Credit, and have income for tax purposes of £15,276 or less.
Britons who are pregnant or have had a baby in the last 12 months are only entitled to free NHS prescriptions if they have a valid maternity exemption certificate.
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.
For more information on who can qualify for free prescriptions, people can visit the NHS website.
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