The Government is currently consulting on whether to raise the age at which people receive free prescriptions from 60 to the state pension age of 6
The Government is currently consulting on whether to raise the age at which people receive free prescriptions from 60 to the state pension age of 66. If the plans go ahead it will affect millions of older Britons who are already struggling due to the cost of living crisis. However, most people could make big savings on NHS prescription costs.
Proposals to charge the over 60s for their prescriptions haven’t been shelved and are still being considered, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) recently confirmed.
It means NHS prescription charges for people aged 60 up to state pension age in England could still go ahead despite the cost of living crisis.
NHS prescriptions cost £9.35 per item in England but are currently free for anyone over 60-years-old.
They are also free for Britons suffering from certain medical conditions, those on low incomes and anyone who invests in a Prepayment Certifcate (PPC) no matter what their income.
READ MORE: ‘Should I switch to Universal Credit’ Martin Lewis gives his verdict
Which benefits qualify for free prescriptions?
Britons may qualify for free prescriptions if they receive Universal Credit, income support, income based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income related Employment and Support Allowance and Pension Credit.
It also depends on whether the claimant has responsibility for one or more children.
Typically, applicants who earned £435 or less, or £935 if they have responsibility for a child, should be entitled to free prescriptions.
Department of Health and Social Care 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.”
People in England who don’t qualify for free prescriptions can still save money by buying a Pre-Payment Certificate (PPC).
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
Should the age for free prescriptions rise to match the state pension age? What do you think? Have your say in our poll: