As the government considers proposals to raise the age at which people get free prescriptions from 60 to 66, prices are also likely to rise in April and are expected to reach £13.25 by 2035 according to Chemist4U. As a result, Britons who are already struggling with the cost of living crisis are worried about how they will fare if they fall ill.
Plans to raise NHS prescription fees – and the age at which people get them for free – couldn’t come at a worse time, campaigners say.
People are already desperately trying to make ends meet amid soaring energy bills, rising inflation and a cost of living crisis.
Michael Orton of the Social Security Commission recently told Express.co.uk that things are so bad that people fear going to the doctor.
He said: “I’ve heard a lot of stories of people being worried about going to the doctor because prescriptions are expensive.”
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Who is eligible for free NHS prescriptions?
Children under 16
Anyone aged 60 or over
People aged 16 to 18 and in full-time studies
Pregnant women or anyone who has had a baby in the past 12 months and has a valid Maternity Exemption Certificate
Those who are registered disabled
An NHS hospital patient
People on income assistance
Anyone receiving income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
People receiving employment and income support allowance
Applicants with pension credit guarantee credit
Some Universal Credit Applicants
Some people claim child tax credits or work tax credits
Those who receive a valid NHS certificate for full healthcare cost assistance (HC2)
Anyone living in Scotland or Wales
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A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: ‘Around 90 per cent of community prescription items in England are free, and people don’t pay if they are on low income, over 60 or have certain medical conditions.
“The upper age exemption has not changed since 1995 and that is why we have consulted on re-establishing the link between this and the statutory retirement age.
“We are carefully reviewing the responses and will respond in due course.”
To check eligibility for free prescriptions – people can use the free NHS prescription eligibility checker.