Are you eligible for free NHS prescriptions? Full list of qualifying conditions | Personal Finance | Finance


People in England can get their prescriptions for free for several reasons, depending on their situation and the medical conditions they have. It’s definitely worth checking the list as an individual does not have to be suffering from a long-term medical issue to get the suppport.

These groups of people can get free NHS prescriptions:

  • Aged 60 or over
  • Aged 16 and under
  • Aged between 16 to 18 and in full time education
  • Pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months while owning a valid MatEX certificate
  • Has a specified medical condition and a valid MedEx certificate
  • Has a continuing physical disability that prevents them from going out without help from another, and they also have a valid MedEx certificate
  • Holds a war pension exemption certificate and the prescription is for their accepted disability
  • Are an NHS inpatient.

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Those with certain medical conditions can also get free NHS prescriptions. In this case, a person will need to get a medical exemption certificate, which is a credit-size card.

The certificate usually lasts for five years and the person has to renew it themselves to continue to get their medication for free.

To apply for a certificate, a person will need to contact their GP to process the application. A person will get a reminder one month before their current certificate expires.

Individuals are responsible to make sure their certificate is valid when they claim the free medication.

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The Government is proposing to scrap free NHS prescriptions for over 60s, meaning older Britons can only claim the support once they reach state pension age, which is currently 66.

The state pension age is set to start rising to 67 in 2026 and then to 68, meaning more and more Britons may be affected by the worsening health conditions of old age before they can claim the free prescriptions.

The average cost of an NHS prescription is currently £9.35 per item in England and can add pressure to Britons’ budgets during the ongoing cost of living crisis.

All residents of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland already get their prescriptions for free. NHS prescription charges change annually on April 1.



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