NHS Prescription charges may rise but those eligible can get them for free – is this you?

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NHS Prescription charges may rise but those eligible can get them for free – is this you?

The current price of prescriptions now is £9.35 per prescription but this could be increased. The free prescriptions given to those aged over 60 co

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The current price of prescriptions now is £9.35 per prescription but this could be increased. The free prescriptions given to those aged over 60 could also disappear in April, with many concerned that the £9.35 fee per item will put their retirement in ruin.

Free prescriptions are currently given to those over 60 however the age could rise to 66 in England after a Government consultation.

The proposal considered aligning the free prescription age with state pension age, which is also rising.

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 however there are still certain groups who can get their prescriptions for free.

With many changes looming, it may be beneficial to check if one falls into the eligible categories.

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Who gets free NHS prescriptions?

As mentioned above, the over 60s currently get their prescriptions for free but this may change.

Britons who are under 16, or between 16 and 18 in full time education also do not need to worry about paying their prescription fees.

Women who are pregnant, or who have had a baby in the previous 12 months and have a valid maternity exemption certificate (MatEx) can get their prescriptions for free.

If someone has a specified medical condition and have a valid medical exemption certificate, they too do not have to pay.

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If they do not have a certificate, they can show their award notice.

People can qualify if they get Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits with a disability element (or both), and have income for tax credit purposes of £15,276 or less.

Individuals who have a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs – known as HC2 – will not have to meet any payment.

People named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3) may also get help.

Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said tax and price hikes may be seen in the coming months, with an end to free prescriptions also in the offing.

Ms Coles said: “At the moment there’s no charge for over-60s but that could soon change. If it does, it would drag millions of people into having to pay for essential medicines.

“2022 is a year of change, but not in a good way. Most of the financial developments in the pipeline will leave us worse off”.

On April 1 last year, the prescription charge increased by 20p, from £9.15 to £9.35, in line with inflation.

A Chemist4U report says the cost of prescriptions have risen by 26.4 percent over the past 10 years, an increase of £1.94 per item.



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