Free prescription: State pension change could see over 60s wait longer

Over 60s benefit from free NHS prescriptions, however a Government consultation is considering bringing free prescription age for those in England in line with state pension age. An entirely separate review is looking at the state pension age itself. While the current state pension age is 66 years old for both men and women in the UK, there are plans to increase it to 67 for those born on or after April 5, 1960.

This means that millions of older Britons could be left waiting up to seven for the freebie benefit.

Another rise to 68 is on the cards for those born on or after April 5, 1977, which will be phased in gradually between 2044 and 2046 if the proposals get the go-ahead.

Last week, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt confirmed the decision will be made early next year.

The Department for Work and Pensions said it was considering the increases because people are living longer.

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

Prescriptions cost £9.35 each however there are 15 groups of people who qualify for help towards NHS medical costs.

A recent survey by the National Pharmacy Association showed this prescription price is too expensive for many.

It showed nearly nine in 10 chemists in England have patients who often go without prescription medicines because they cannot afford the NHS charge.


However, a spokesperson for the DHSC said nearly 90 percent of the English population receive free NHS prescriptions already.

They said: “We recognise the pressures people are facing with the rising cost of living and we are taking action to support households, including freezing prescription charges for the first time in 12 years.

“Thanks to our extensive arrangements to help people afford NHS prescription charges, 89 percent of prescriptions in England are already provided free of charge.”

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

Some groups are automatically entitled to free NHS prescriptions.
Others can apply for certificates that entitle them to free NHS prescriptions.

Some prescribed items are always free, including contraceptives and medication given to hospital inpatients.

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 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.

For more information on eligibility, Britons can visit the NHS website.

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