Martin Lewis discusses prescription prepayment certificates
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Currently, the age when people start to receive free prescriptions is 60, yet this looks set to change in England if the Government presses ahead with plans to raise it inline with the state pension age.
New figures show that even before this proposed change to the free prescription age comes into effect, thousands of people are being fined for not paying the £9.35 per item charge.
While not all of these unpaid fines will be down to the older generation, this adds up to £8million in unpaid prescription charges for 2020.
This could be a sign that not everyone knows the rules of who is entitled to free prescriptions or that thousands of people can’t afford to pay the charges.
And, if plans go ahead to raise the age when people receive free prescriptions inline with the current state pension age of 66, things could potentially get a lot worse.
READ MORE: Best interest rates on savings accounts: Account pays 3.5%
New research carried out by FROM MARS shows that on average, the cost of an NHS prescription has risen 2.54 percent each year.
Blackburn with Darwen received 35.59 fines for not paying prescription charges per 10,000 people in 2020.
This is more than any other local authority in the UK.
Currently, unemployed people or those on low incomes are entitled to free prescriptions as well as anyone above the age of 60, but that’s all about to change.
‘Horrible times’ – Pensioner loses £145,000 retirement savings after forgetting password [WARNING]
State pension rise will be confirmed tomorrow – but Britons fear ‘permanent changes’ [UPDATE]
Rishi Sunak plots 55% pension tax attack – ‘horrific’ rule could destroy YOUR retirement [WARNING]
Although it looks likely that older people between 60 and 65 will have to start paying under Government plans, there will be some exemptions.
People who are 60 and above will still be exempt if they qualify for certain benefits.
Those who already have a medical exemption certificate should also be exempt from the new charge.
However, it’s feared that it could lead to some people who aren’t on benefits but can’t afford the prescription charges, refraining from taking their medicine.
Who will qualify for free NHS prescriptions under the new rules?
- People receiving Income Support
- Those on Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- People who get Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Recipients of Pension Credit
- People who qualify for Universal Credit.
What is happening where you live? Find out by adding your postcode or visit InYourArea
Campaigners fear that bringing in additional charges could be a false economy as it will lead to increased hospital admissions and GP appointments.
However, the Government says that many people aged 60 to 65 remain in employment and can afford to meet the cost of their prescriptions.
Those who are suffering from serious illnesses such as cancer will have a medical exemption certificate meaning they won’t have to pay the charges.
A decision should be made in the next few weeks.
Source: Read Full Article