Free prescriptions could be axed for over 60s but 15 groups get free

Martin Lewis answers question about state pension

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Free prescriptions may be axed for over 60s however, some others could already get theirs for free. If the changes were to go ahead, it would mean millions of people between 60 and 65 may be required to meet the £9.35 per item charge.

A free prescription is an important entitlement, especially for older individuals.

However, the age could rise to 66 in England after a Government consultation which has created much controversy.

The Government stated in its proposal that the change would happen “immediately” if it goes ahead.

As the cost of living crisis continues, Britons will be looking for ways they may be able to cut costs.

There are 15 groups of people who qualify for help towards NHS medical costs so people are urged to check if they are eligible.

It should be noted that those in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland can get their prescriptions for free, regardless of the circumstances.

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.

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.

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.

A full list of who qualifies for free prescriptions can be found on the Government website.

There is also another way people can save hundreds on their prescriptions.

Britons who are not eligible for free prescriptions can purchase a prepayment certificate (PPC) and save £340 a year on their medication charges.

A PPC is effectively a prescription “season ticket”.

It allows Britons to claim as many NHS prescriptions they need for a set price which is ideal for those on repeat prescriptions.

The three month PPC costs £30.25 and will save people money if they need more than three prescribed items in three months.

The 12-month PPC costs £108.10 and will save people money if they need more than 11 prescribed items in a year.

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